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Nurse struck off after jail term revealed

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/07/2016

A New Plymouth nurse has been struck off after failing to tell authorities he robbed a pharmacy at gunpoint two decades ago.

James Middlebrook didn't let on four years ago, when making declarations to the Taranaki District Health Board, that he'd spent a decade in prison and had his nursing license cancelled while living in the United States.

It was only last year, after he was convicted for illegally importing prescription medication into New Zealand that it became clear he had not spent those years working from home while caring for his autistic son, as his resume claimed.

Middlebrook, a NZ registered nurse, was working at University Hospital in Arkansas, when he committed the armed robbery and demanded narcotics from a pharmacy on Boxing Day 1996.

At the time of his arrest for the crime he was reportedly already in the county jail for another robbery at the hospital pharmacy.

He was convicted and sentenced to a decade behind bars, adding to the 10 years he also received for theft charges.

It's believed he was released in 2007.

But when he applied for a nursing programme in Taranaki in 2012 and 2013 he failed to mention he even worked as a nurse after leaving New Zealand in 1991.

Middlebrook's conduct "displays and alarming level of dishonesty by a health practitioner" the Health Practitioner's Disciplinary Board found on Friday.

His registration as a nurse was cancelled and he was ordered to pay tribunal costs amounting to more than $7000.

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