Porn surf nurse struck off

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A nurse on an old people's ward who used a hospital computer to look at sexually explicit images of an elderly woman was struck off today.

Steven Bowmaker, 37, accessed the website from a computer on the ward where he worked.



A tribunal heard that he sent six images of an elderly woman in a variety of sexually explicit poses to two of his colleagues at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.



Bowmaker, who lives in Blyth, Northumberland, did not attend the tribunal at the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London.

But he admitted all the charges in a letter in which he said he accepted what he had done was wrong.



He said he had sent the images to colleagues "in a pathetic attempt to humour them".



Elizabeth Harris, head of nursing at Freeman Hospital, told the tribunal that she was "absolutely horrified" when she saw the images that had been sent.



She said: "Had this been seen by patients or visitors it would have been highly offensive, particularly as the ward where Mr Bowmaker worked was an elderly patients ward."



She said she thought a nurse who wanted to look at that sort of material posed "a serious risk to patient care".



The tribunal heard that Bowmaker accessed the website during working hours when he should have been caring for patients on June 16, 17, and 22, 2007.



Bowmaker had worked for the hospital since he qualified as a nurse in 2006.



The tribunal found him guilty of misconduct and ruled that his fitness to practise was impaired.



Delivering the panel's decision chairwoman Tessa King said that material Bowmaker had used was "denigrating" and said sending the pictures was "an enormous lapse of judgment on his part".



In striking him off she said his actions were "fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the register".



Bowmaker can apply to be re-registered in five years.

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