Northern Ireland news

Former DUP councillor convicted of sexually assault struck off nursing register

Former DUP councillor Ian Stevenson

A FORMER DUP councillor convicted of sexually assaulting a colleague at a care home has been struck off the nursing register.

Ian Stevenson was found guilty of misconduct by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). It said the panel deemed his fitness to practise was impaired by reason of his conviction for sexual assault and issued a striking off order.

The former mayor of Ballymoney was found guilty in 2018 of deliberately squeezing a woman's breast at a care home they worked at before joking he would "grope anything."

The court heard that Stevenson asked the victim for a hug while talking to her in a corridor in April 2017.

She claimed that after raising her arms, Stevenson grabbed her breast.

During the hearing she described responding by pushing him away and telling him "no", adding that the encounter left her shocked and frightened.

"He just basically tried to laugh it off and made the joke 'You know me, I would grope anything... well, not anything'," she said.

The ex-Causeway Coast and Glens councillor, who was suspended from the DUP after being charged with the offence, was sentenced to 220 hours community service.

The NMC held its fitness to practise case in private after Stevenson claimed his safety would be put at risk if the hearing was held in public.

The panel, which issued its findings on the NMC website, stated that Stevenson's "fitness to practise is impaired by reason of your

conviction" and issued a striking off order.

The DUP last night said Stevenson was suspended from the party.

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