Information was brought to BACP's attention which was sufficient to refer for consideration under Article 12.6 of the Memorandum & Articles of Association.
The summary of the information was that Mr Hennah was charged with a number of sexual offences and that he admitted two offences of sexually touching a child and one of voyeurism when he appeared before Exeter Crown Court on 18 May 2012. In the publicly available information relating to his reported behaviour, mention is made of him being an accredited counsellor. He subsequently informed BACP by letter dated 18 May 2012, received 21 May, that he admitted to pleading guilty to three of the four charges made against him and that he wished to terminate his membership.
The nature of the information raised questions about the suitability of his continuing membership of this Association and raised concerns about the following in particular:
- Mr Hennah's alleged actions have brought, or may yet bring, not only this Association, but also the reputations of counselling/psychotherapy into disrepute.
- Mr Hennah's alleged behaviour was incompatible with the values and principles of counselling and psychotherapy, and was lacking in the personal moral qualities to which counsellors and psychotherapists are strongly encouraged to aspire. His alleged behaviour in this instance also suggested that his behaviour was incongruent with that expected of a BACP member.
- The information further suggests that Mr Hennah's fitness to practise has been impaired.
- By attempting to resign his membership, Mr Hennah allegedly wished to avoid accountability to BACP.
The Article 12.6 Panel decided to implement Article 12.6 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association and withdraw BACP membership from Mr James Hennah to take effect 28 days from notification of this decision. The reasons for its decision are as follows:
Mr Hennah's plea of guilty to the three serious charges referred to above, with the consequent requirement to sign the Sex Offenders Register, together with his declaration to BACP that "I have failed and done untold damage", render him now quite unsuitable for continuing membership of the organisation.
In particular the Panel concluded that his actions:
i) have brought, or could bring the reputation of BACP into disrepute;
ii) have brought or could bring the reputations of counselling and/or psychotherapy into disrepute;
iii) that if the public was accurately informed of all the circumstances of the case, the public's trust in the profession would be adversely affected;
iv) are evidence that his fitness to practise is seriously impaired.
The Panel found no mitigating circumstances.