Breast groping nurse is allowed to practise again

The Spinney

A nurse who groped a colleague’s breasts and touched another’s bottom at a borough pyschiatric unit has been allowed to return to the profession by a health watchdog.

Tyrece Coker was sacked over his behaviour at The Spinney, in Atherton, and has served a 12-month suspension imposed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The mental health nurse was also found to have repeatedly sent inappropriate social media messages to a third fellow staff member, a conduct and competence committee hearing ruled.

But a review panel has now decided that Coker, a father-of-three, has shown sufficient insight into his failings and has been allowed to resume his nursing career.

He was working at the time as part of a medium-security forensic psychiatric unit at the Everest Road facility, which often dealt with patients who exhibited sexualised behaviour.

An earlier NMC hearing was told that after Coker was informed about a fellow nurse’s breast surgery, he cupped one of her breasts, during a conversation with her.

The nurse told a disciplinary panel that he “grabbed her right breast and caressed it and she felt shocked and just froze as she was not expecting that to happen”.

She said that Coker’s demeanour appeared to be “jokey and relaxed” but she was taken aback. He denied making the approach but the panel preferred his colleague’s evidence.

Another occasion saw Coker push a clipboard against her breast, which angered her.

He also touched her leg and bottom, during separate incidents, despite being asked not to approach her again, the hearing was told.

Coker was also found to have smacked a second colleague on the bottom, on another occasion, claiming it was “an innocent playful act”.

A third colleague also complained when, after sharing her phone number with him to obtain details of a Christmas party, he sent her a number of inappropriate messages.

The claims in relation to the four allegations involving inappropriate were found to be sexually motivated, by the 2016 panel, and Coker was disqualified from practising for a year.

Applying to overturn the suspension, he admitted that he had three daughters and would not be happy if they came home and described someone else acting in the way he had.

He said he now accepted his conduct had caused his colleagues distress and that he wished to apologise to them.

Panel chairwoman Deborah Jones said: “You have demonstrated genuine insight and remorse, undertaken further training and supplied the panel with references and testimonials from colleague attesting to your clinical ability and professionalism.”

The review hearing determined that the suspension could be replaced with a caution order, meaning Coker can return to a nursing post.

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