Nurse who smoked crack cocaine in telephone box struck off

View - High Street, Aylesbury,  Hale Leys entrance can be seen to the right
View - High Street, Aylesbury, Hale Leys entrance can be seen to the right

A nurse who was found to be drunk in charge of a child and smoked crack cocaine in a London telephone box has been struck off.

George Ziwa was previously suspended by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, but the suspension was upgraded to striking off last week, after he failed to engage with officials.

In December 2013 a drunken George Ziwa was spotted by security guards in the Hale Leys Shopping Centre in Aylesbury.

Security guards were called to the Clarks shoe shop and saw Ziwa sitting in the shop talking loudly on his mobile phone.

A young child in a pushchair was crying beside him, and Ziwa was not responding to the cries. When Ziwa stepped up he was unsteady on his feet and smelled of alcohol.

Police were called and Ziwa was charged with being drunk in charge of a child, for which he received a conditional discharge.

In a second incident, in February 2014, Ziwa was found smoking crack cocaine in a telephone box in Shaftsbury Avenue, London.

When police approached him they saw that he was sucking white smoke from something in his hand, which they found to be the drug.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine. He was fined £200.

In striking him off last week, the Nursing and Midwifery Council issued the following statement in a report.

They said: “The panel was of the view that the public would want reassurances that Mr Ziwa’s offending behaviour, giving rise to both charges outside the workplace, would not affect his clinical practice.

“It considered that behaviour in being found drunk in a public place while having the charge of a child under the age of seven years, and being in possession of a class A drug demonstrated a wilful and serious disregard for the law.

“There has been no change of circumstances since the substantive hearing, and no evidence that Mr Ziwa has attempted to engage with these proceedings.”

The report added: “Furthermore, the panel noted that Mr Ziwa specialises in the care of highly vulnerable patients with learning disabilities.

“It considered that this poor decision making process whilst having the care of a vulnerable minor gives rise to concerns as to the safety of patients in his clinical care.

“For this reason, the panel concluded that a finding of impairment was also necessary on the grounds of public protection.”