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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Woman cleared of assaulting boy’s dad at Cumbrian karate club

A chiropodist accused of assaulting the father of an eight-year-old patient following a row over verruca gel has been cleared of a string of allegations.

Caroline Whittle was accused of attacking the man at Kirkby Lonsdale Karate Club where she was having a beginner’s lesson alongside the youngsters.

But the case against her was dismissed by a Health Professions Council panel, which found an impartial witnesses version of events matched up with her’s.

The allegations involved a dispute over the care of an eight-year-old boy, referred to only as Patient A.

Whittle, from Sedbergh, had been friends with the boy’s parents – known as Mr and Mrs X – and invited his mother to move in with her after an acrimonious split in July 2007.

She was later said to have accused the man of ‘misapplying’ Bazuka gel, which can damage healthy skin.

The foot doctor was alleged to have come to blows with the dad at a martial arts class on November 21, where both she and the boy had achieved a yellow belt.

But the panel, sitting in Kennington, south London, accepted she had acted in self-defence after hearing from karate instructor David Jones.

In his evidence, he said he had not seen the altercation between Mr X and Whittle, but had heard raised voices.

“I turned around to find both parties were squaring up to each other,” he said. “I did not see any physical contact.

“Therefore I would say that only insults were exchanged and no actual violence was committed.”

Whittle was also accused of continuing to treat the eight-year-old despite having a conflict of interests because of her relationship with the mother.

But the panel found that although the relationship did exist, Whittle did not allow her personal interest to affect her professional judgement.

“There was no conflict and everyone’s interests in so far as Patient A’s verruca is concerned were one and the same,” said panel chair John Williams.

Whittle was also accused of subjecting Mr X to a course of ‘intimidation’ by on several occasions staring him out and deliberately ignoring him while greeting the little boy.

But, this along with a string of further allegations against the chiropodist was dismissed.

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