Padiham dentist keeps job after fatal crash

A DENTIST who admitted sending a text message only moments before she caused fatal injuries to a pedestrian has been reprimanded by her professional standards body.

Kay Nolan had continued to enjoy the support of patients and colleagues at her Padiham surgery after her December 2012 conviction for causing the death of Stuart Mather, near his home in Higham, by careless driving, the General Dental Council (GDC) was told.

And while the GDC professional conduct committee concluded her fitness to practice was impaired, it said that it had made an ‘exceptional’ decision not to suspend her from practising or strike her name off the dental register.

Announcing the decision after hearing the facts, panel chairman Shiv Pabary said: “The committee accepts this incident was a single isolated lapse in judgement. “It also accepts that you do not present a danger to patients.

“The circumstances of this case are exceptional.

“Notwithstanding the seriousness of the conviction, a sanction of suspension or erasure, which would deprive you of your livelihood and your ability to provide for your dependents, would be wholly disproportionate.”

Mr Pabary said Ms Nolan had shown ‘insight and remorse’ over her actions.

The committee had also noted that she was passionate about her practice and patients.

Testimonials had also been sent to the conduct committee by colleagues and patients, outlining the high regard in which she was held.

Nolan, of Merlinwood, Skipton Road, Thornton-in Craven, was given an official reprimand, which will leave her free to continue to practice.

Her representative told the hearing that no patients had left her practice since the incident and staff there had pledged their support for her Earlier this year Preston Crown Court was told the divorced mother-of-one had composed a text while sitting in a layby on the A6068.

And it emerged that she had sent the message just a second before her Honda Jazz struck Mr Mather, who had been out walking his Scottish terrier.

Nolan admitted causing death by careless driving and was given a 40-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

She was also ordered to carry out 150 hours community service and observe a curfew.

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