Psychologist struck off

A psychologist who had an affair with a violent former prisoner has been censured and struck off by the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

Yesterday, the tribunal lifted name suppression on Keriata Paterson of Te Puru, north of Thames, who admitted professional misconduct over the affair.

The Waikato Times reported Paterson's registration had been cancelled and she was also ordered to pay costs of $1500, but was spared a fine.

The hearing was told that the man, five years younger than the psychologist, was a high-risk, violent offender. During counselling sessions he told Paterson he thought she was beautiful.

After reporting this to her superiors, she ended their sessions.

However, they became friends and in March 2007 their relationship turned sexual and they began living together.

Their relationship soon became dysfunctional and eventually police were called after the man threatened Paterson's life.

In its decision, the tribunal said it needed to "make it very clear indeed that conduct of the kind which was established by the charge is completely unacceptable".

- NZPA

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