Psychologist sanctioned and ordered to pay $10,000 after shoplifting, drink-drive conviction

The psychologist admitted cutting a tag off the dress by Karen Walker (pictured) and putting it in her handbag in 2014. Photo / File
The psychologist admitted cutting a tag off the dress by Karen Walker (pictured) and putting it in her handbag in 2014. Photo / File

A psychologist has been sanctioned and ordered to pay $10,000 after she was found to have failed to disclose a drink-driving conviction and a formal caution for shoplifting.

Her actions "brought, or [were] likely to bring, discredit to the profession of psychologists in New Zealand", according to the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

The Tribunal said she had been shoplifting on her own admission "some five to 10 times" since her first year at university in 2000.

She stole a Karen Walker designer dress worth $276 from a recycle clothing shop on November 10, 2014, and was stopped by security guards and given a formal caution by police.

Inquiries then revealed that she also had a conviction for drink driving and earlier shoplifting experiences, and mental health issues that she failed to disclose.

The woman has permanent name suppression and is referred to as Ms S throughout the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal decision.

Charges were laid in regards to the shoplifting and for failing to "self-reflect, discuss with her supervisor, or discuss with her employer issues surrounding the drink-driving conviction she had had and the latest episode of shoplifting".

She was ordered to pay $10,000 towards the cost of the Tribunal's decision, and stood down for one month.

She was also given conditions to follow if she were to practise as a psychologist again, including three years' supervision and undergo education courses on self-reflection and self-evaluation.

- NZ Herald

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