AN AMBULANCE service has admitted failing to check the criminal record of one of their paramedics, who turned out to be a convicted killer.
South Central Ambulance Service did not carry out a Criminal Records Bureau check of Robert King, a former ambulance manager and paramedic who worked for them.
King was struck off at a hearing of the Health and Care Professions Council yesterday, after it was found he failed to declare his conviction. He did not attend the hearing in London and had no representation.
His conviction dates back to 1981, when, as a 16-year-old, he was part of a group of men who attacked and killed 42-year-old photographer Robin Warren in Maidenhead.
The group had deliberately gone out with the attention of attacking a gay person.
As a minor, King was ordered to be detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure.
At the hearing it emerged that bosses at SCAS only found out about his murder conviction when King was arrested for a later offence of drink driving.
He crashed an ambulance trust car while three-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit in November 2010.
King, of Merton Road, Ambrosden, retired from SCAS after his arrest.
Following his conviction for that offence in April 2012, Thames Valley Police conducted a national computer search which revealed King had been convicted at Reading Crown Court in January 1981 for murder. They informed SCAS, which then began an investigation.
The panel heard that King started work as an ambulance technician in 1994 for Two Shires Ambulance Service in 1994.
The service merged with SCAS in the mid 2000s.
King worked his way up to become a paramedic and senior manager. But he failed to declare his criminal past in his application forms and said he had been in the Armed Forces when asked about his previous employment.
SCAS issued a statement after the hearing.
A spokesman said: “The trust was only recently made aware by the police of the serious conviction that ex-employee Robert King was sentenced for, as a minor, in 1981, previous to his employment with one of our predecessor organisations, Two Shires Ambulance Service.
“South Central Ambulance Service has a rigorous process in place for carrying out CRB checks on anyone applying for positions that put them in contact with patients and their families.
“We have also been retrospectively CRB checking any member of frontline staff that came from other organisations before SCAS was formed in 2006.”
- Addendum, November 2012: King conviction for drink driving quashed