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DO who abused junior staff member erased from register

A Surrey-based dispensing optician who tried to kiss his colleague and asked her to sit on his lap has been sanctioned by the General Optical Council

29 Jul 2019 by Selina Powell

A dispensing optician who abused a junior staff member has been sanctioned by the General Optical Council (GOC).

A GOC fitness to practise committee decision described how Surrey-based practitioner, Michael Bowles, repeatedly touched a colleague inappropriately.

He touched her face and hair, placed his hand on her knee, unfastened her bra and tried to kiss her.

The decision stated that on “one or more occasions” Mr Bowles asked the staff member to sit on his lap.

Fitness to practise committee chair, Rachel O’Connell, said that Mr Bowles’ misconduct involved the abuse of a senior position and the mistreatment of a colleague in a more junior position.

“It not only involved inappropriate remarks but also physical touching,” she emphasised.

“In the committee’s view, the sustained misconduct in this case showed evidence of harmful deep-seated personality and attitudinal problems; in particular, because the misconduct was sustained over several months,” Ms O’Connell highlighted.

Mr Bowles was sanctioned with an erasure order. He has until 15 August to appeal his erasure, during which time he is suspended from the register under an immediate suspension order.

Image credit: Laurence Derbyshire

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