Information was brought to the attention of BACP, which was considered under Article 12.6 of the Articles of Association.
The summary of the information, together with the allegations as notified to Mr Easton was as follows:
An article written in the Grimsby Telegraph on 24 November 2015 had been brought to the attention of BACP. The article detailed that Mr Easton had been charged and convicted with an offence relating to downloading indecent images of children. Mr Easton was sentenced to imprisonment and was required to register on the Sex offender's Register for 10
Information was in the possession of BACP stating that on 20 November Mr Easton was sentenced in Grimsby Crown Court of the offence of "Making indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph of a child" and was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order was made for 10 years.
The nature of the information raised questions about the suitability of Mr Easton's continuing membership of this Association and it raised concerns about the following in particular:
- Mr Easton's alleged actions have brought, or may yet bring, not only this Association, but also the reputations of counselling/psychotherapy into disrepute.
- Mr Easton failed to notify BACP of his conviction as required by his Membership Terms & Conditions
- It is alleged that by the nature of his conviction Mr Easton's fitness to practice is impaired
- Mr Easton's alleged behaviour is incongruent with that which is expected of a member of BACP
- The information further suggests that there may have been a serious breach, or breaches, of the Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy
The member was invited to send in a written response. No response was received.
The Article 12.6 Panel decided to implement Article 12.6 of the Articles of Association. Mr Adrian Easton's membership would be withdrawn subject to appeal. Mr Easton had 28 days from the date of notification of its report to make an appeal. In the absence of an appeal notification would be given to Mr Easton by the Chair of the Association with regard to the withdrawal of membership.
The reasons for the Panel's decision were as follows:
Firstly, the Panel addressed whether it was satisfied that every opportunity had been given to Mr Easton, to respond to the allegations. It noted that Mr Easton had been sentenced to a term of imprisonment and that a letter from BACP had been sent to the relevant prison but had been returned marked as ‘addressee gone away'. The Panel noted that the letter had also been sent by Special Delivery to Mr Easton's last known address, but was not signed for as having been received. The letter had also been sent by email. The Panel was therefore satisfied that all reasonable attempts had been made to enable Mr Easton to make a response to the formal allegations. In the absence of any correspondence or communication from Mr Easton, and taking account of the fact that Mr Easton, himself had not reported that he had been charged and subsequently convicted of an offence, the Panel considered that any further attempt would be unlikely to elicit a response and therefore agreed that a decision could be made on the information available to it.
The Panel noted that, on 20 November 2015, Mr Easton was sentenced in Grimsby Crown Court of the offence of "Making indecent photograph/pseudo-photograph of a child" and was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order was made for 10 years.
The Panel considered the type and nature of the offence for which Mr Easton had been convicted and was concerned to note the seriousness of that offence and that the details had been reported in the press. The Panel was of the view that the conviction received by Mr Easton was so disgraceful that it was such that the public's trust in the profession and the reputation of BACP would be undermined if they were accurately informed about the circumstances of the case. The Panel found that Mr Easton's behaviour was incongruent with that which is expected of a member of BACP, and that his fitness to practice was impaired by virtue of the type of conviction he had received.
In conclusion the Panel unanimously agreed, keeping in mind its remit with regard to public protection, to implement Article 12.6 and withdraw Mr Easton's membership, subject to any appeal.
No appeal was received and Mr Easton's membership was withdrawn.
Any future re-application for membership will be considered under Article 12.3 of the Articles of Association.