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PHYSIO IN DRUG BUST; Therapist ran a cannabis factory.

Byline: JONNY GREATREX

A PHYSIOTHERAPIST has been allowed to continue in his job - despite being convicted of running a cannabis factory.

Matthew Farrow was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence after cops discovered him cultivating the drug at his Wolverhampton property.

Officers had been called to the address after reports of a burglary, but stumbled on the drugs haul instead.

Self-employed Farrow was recently hauled before a disciplinary hearing at the Health Professionals Council (HPC). It ruled the conviction meant his fitness to practice had been impaired - but decided he should be 'cautioned' and allowed to continue working.

"We considered whether the conviction was so serious that a suspension order or striking off was appropriate," they said.

"Our decision was that this was not proportionate and did not strike the right balance between the interests of the public and the interests of the registrant. We decided that the sanction which was proportional was a caution order for three years.A caution may be taken into account if a further allegation is made against the registrant."

Farrow's illicit stash was found on April 14 last year.

In October he appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court and was convicted of producing a controlled Class B drug.

Elderly He received a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, was ordered to see a probation officer for six months and told to pay pounds 1,200 costs.

The HPC panel heard how Farrow had worked providing health reports to solicitors, as well as working in a sports club, and a nursing home for the elderly.

But he did not tell colleagues about the conviction, which the HPC panel said brought into question his integrity.

"He had previously undertaken a Criminal Records Bureau check for working in this environment, but confirmed that he had not disclosed his subsequent conviction,'' the panel said.

"We concluded the registrant was hiding his conviction by not disclosing it and that this conduct indicated he was not behaving with integrity.

"We would expect a health professional to demonstrate his integrity by disclosing a drugs conviction to the other health professionals who are working alongside him and that the conviction should certainly have been disclosed to the sports club, where the registrant is currently working. He stated that what had occurred was out of character, and that his conduct did not reflect what he intends his life to be."

Mr Farrow was unavailable for comment last night.

jonny.greatrex@sundaymercury.net
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Oct 17, 2010
Words:409
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