Harpenden optician faces inquiry over his fitness to practise

PUBLISHED: 19:30 21 July 2016

The General Optical Council has launched an inquiry

The General Optical Council has launched an inquiry

General Optical Council

An inquiry has been launched to determine a Harpenden-based optician's fitness to practise in relation to a number of incidents, including stalking.

The Fitness to Practise Committee has given notice of a probe it is conducting based upon allegations submitted by the General Optical Council.

These are centred upon Philip Egan, a registered dispensing optician at Harpenden Eye Centre, and the committee will consider whether his fitness to practise is “impaired”.

The council has submitted information to the committee for its inquiry, including:

• At St Albans Magistrates’ Court, on March 26 in 2014, Mr Egan was convicted of stalking Ms B, contrary to the Protection from Harassment Act.

• On August 12, 2014, Mr Egan was convicted of contacting Ms B, which intimidated and was intended to intimidate her.

• Mr Egan was sentenced on September 11, 2014, for the stalking and intimidation convictions, to a community order of 180 hours; a two-year restraining order banning him from contacting Ms B directly or indirectly and to pay costs (£620) and a victim surcharge (£60).

The council alleges that Mr Egan’s “fitness to practise is impaired by reason of misconduct and/or conviction and/or police caution”.

At a determination of a hearing, held between June 20-22, the committee heard an application from Mr Corrie, for the council, for the matter to proceed in Mr Egan’s absence.

The committee said that he had, through his solicitors, consented to the determination of a hearing - which he had submitted evidence to - proceeding without him.

Witness statements provided by Mr Egan were redacted.

When considering whether it was in the public interest to proceed in his absence, the committee said: “The matters which the council alleges against the registrant are serious. There is a public interest in their being heard expeditiously.”

However, the Herts Advertiser understands that the hearing was then adjourned following technical legal argument that was heard in private.

No date has been set yet for the substantive hearing, but it is expected it will be held early next year.

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