Information was disclosed to BACP, which was considered under Article 12.6 of the Articles of Association.
The summary of the information received is as follows:
The Managing Director (MD) of Organisation X, contacted BACP on 9th April Year 1 to inform the Association that Mr Mallett had been terminated from his role as a self-employed consultant counsellor for children and young people at Organisations X and Y. The MD advised BACP that Mr Mallett was subject to a criminal investigation and the nature of the alleged offence was ‘distribution of indecent images of children, category A’.
BACP contacted [ . . . ] Police, [ . . . ] for some further information on 30th April Year 1. The Police advised that the investigation was in the early stages and agreed to keep BACP updated. Mr Mallett was contacted on 30th April Year 1 to inform him of the information BACP had received and to request him keep BACP updated. No response was received from Mr Mallett.
[ . . . ] Police informed BACP on 2nd November Year 1 that Mr Mallett was due to appear in court on 5th November Year 1. BACP was further advised on 10th December Year 1 that the matter had been referred to the Crown Court and was listed to be heard on 15th February Year 2. BACP sent a letter to Mr Mallett on 8th November Year 1 requesting his initial comments. No response was received from Mr Mallett.
BACP conducted a Google search of Steven Mallett that showed that he was also known as Stuart Johnson and in another that he had appeared before Teesside Crown Court in January Year 2. Mr Mallett (aka Johnson) had ‘admitted three charges of making and three of distributing indecent images of children, and two of voyeurism’. Both individuals were to appear for sentencing in February Year 2.
On 15th February Year 2 Mr Mallett was sentenced to 16-months imprisonment, suspended for two years and a 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement, to include a sex offender treatment programme. Mr Mallett was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order, will be on the sex offenders' register for 10 years, and was made subject to an indefinite restraining order and ordered to pay £500 costs.
The nature of the information raises questions about Mr Mallett’s suitability for continuing membership of BACP and concerns about the following in particular:
• Mr Mallett has failed to notify BACP of the investigation and subsequent criminal conviction as required by the terms and conditions of his membership.
• It is alleged that in having been convicted of making and distributing indecent images of children and voyeurism, Mr Mallett has brought, or may yet bring, not only BACP, but also the reputations of counselling/psychotherapy into disrepute.
• It is alleged that being convicted of making and distributing indecent images of children and voyeurism is incongruent with what 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 the Counselling Professions.
ARTICLE 12.6 PANEL’S DECISION
The Panel carefully considered all the evidence submitted by Organisation X. It noted that Mr Mallett had not responded to any of BACP’s communications. Having done so, the Panel decided to implement Article 12.6 of the Articles of Association.
Mr Mallett’s membership would be withdrawn subject to appeal. Mr Mallett had 28 days from the date of notification of this report to make an appeal. In the absence of an appeal, notification would be given to Mr Mallett by the Chair of the Association regarding the withdrawal of membership.
In addressing the issues before it the Panel gave due consideration to all evidence available. The Panel considered the following points to be central in its decision making:
• Mr Mallett’s conviction for the offences set out above was cogent evidence that he had made and distributed indecent images of children and participated in voyeurism. Normally the Panel would seek a certificate of conviction from the member; but Mr Mallett’s lack of engagement prevented this. The Panel found that, on the balance of probabilities, Mr Mallett had had made and distributed indecent images of children and participated in voyeurism.
• This misconduct had led to Mr Mallett’s conviction and was so serious that the sentencing Judge had considered only a custodial sentence was sufficient and the offences for which he was convicted would amount to extremely serious breaches of the BACP Ethical Framework.
• The evidence from BACP demonstrated that Mr Mallett had not notified it that he was subject to a criminal investigation, that he was charged or that he was convicted of serious criminal offences. There was no evidence to counter this evidence. The Panel was aware, from experience, that BACP members are required to declare on application that they will ‘declare any issues relating to character that may affect [their] practice’. It was satisfied that Mr Mallett would have made such a declaration on applying for membership and that he, therefore, had a duty to notify BACP of the investigation and subsequent criminal conviction, which he had failed to do.
• The offences for which Mr Mallett stood convicted were such that members of the public would be concerned if he were to be allowed to continue as a BACP member and that if he were allowed continued membership it would bring the reputation of BACP and the counselling/psychotherapy professions into disrepute.
• The offences for which Mr Mallett stood convicted were incongruent with BACP membership, as was being subject to a sexual harm prevention order and being listed on the sex offenders' register.
Mr Mallett did not appeal the decision and his membership was withdrawn.
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