A FORMER ambulance manager faces a disciplinary hearing today accused of not admitting to his bosses he was a murderer.
Robert King, once operations manager for South Central Ambulance Service Trust (SCAS), faces allegations that he failed to declare a conviction for murder dating back to 1981 to the trust.
He was found guilty in 1981 of killing 42-year-old Robin Warren when he and his friends went out looking to attack a homosexual.
King struck Mr Warren, a photographer, as he left a public toilet in Maidenhead, with a bottle, Reading Crown Court heard during the trial.
The victim, who was also hit with a piece of wood and kicked and punched by the youths, staggered 100 yards before collapsing and dying.
The cause of death was a neck wound caused when the broken bottle pierced Mr Warren’s jugular vein.
King, along with 18-year-old Christopher Jones, then of Portlock Road, Maidenhead, were found guilty of murder. Being 16, King was ordered to be detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
Christopher Turner, 17, of Boyne Valley Road, and Anthony McQuilkin, 16, of Priors Way, were convicted of manslaughter.
King was also found guilty earlier this year of drink-driving in a SCAS car and was given a four-month curfew by a district judge, banned from driving for 28 months and told to pay £1,000 costs.
King, of Merton Road, Ambrosden, retired from SCAS after his arrest.
Today he will face the Health Professions Council’s Conduct and Competence Committee in London, which will decide whether his actions constitute dishonesty, misconduct, and whether his fitness to practice as a paramedic is impaired.
He is accused of failing to tell SCAS of the murder conviction and of taking a motor vehicle without consent, and that that was dishonest.
The case has also thrown up questions about the ambulance trust’s employee checking procedures.
Last night the ambulance trust refused to answer questions about what checks were carried out on King. It also refused to confirm if all staff had completed Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) applications prior to King’s crash, including retrospective checks of those employed prior to the implentation of the checking system.
An SCAS spokesman said: “SCAS NHS Foundation Trust has a rigorous process in place for carrying out CRB checks on anyone applying for positions which put them in contact with patients and their families and as such carries out over 600 CRB checks every year.
“We have also been retrospectively CRB-checking any member of frontline staff that came from other organisations before SCAS was formed in 2006.
“CRB reports look at a person’s criminal record at a point in time.”
An interim suspension order was issued in March last year by the Health Professions Council.
At the time of the 1981 case, King’s father Terry, of Woodlands Road, Maidenhead, said: “It was wrong what they did.
“What started off as a laugh, went a bit beyond it, but no-one including the other boys, went there with any intention other than to mess around.
“No-one intended to kill anyone.”
- Addendum, November 2012: King conviction for drink driving quashed