UK:ZIM NURSE GROPED COLLEAGUE’S BOTTOM

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A nurse who fondled and kissed a junior colleague he called ‘The Queen of the Sky’ was allowed to continue practicing ruled his actions were not sexually motivated.nhs-nurse-e1413018881147

Lewis Mapemba kissed and groped the young woman’s bottom when they were alone together on a nightshift.

Mapemba, who worked for the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, also pushed his groin towards her while giving her a hug, the Nursing & Midwifery Council found.

Despite this Mapemba will continue to practice after being handed a three year caution order by the NMC as they considered his actions not to be ‘sexually motivated.’

He and the junior nurse, referred to as Miss A, were both working a night shift at the Newsam Centre in Seacroft, Leeds, on 7 October 2012.

She said she could not face telling anyone about Mapemba’s actions for another nine months, staying silent because she feared no one would believe her.

The woman only spoke up when the other nurse made a similar complaint of sexual harassment against Mapemba.

Panel chair John Haines said: ‘The panel finds that you acted spontaneously in an attempt to offer support and appreciation for the nurse’s persistence with completing four consecutive night shifts after feeling anxious about working these shifts.

‘Having heard your evidence and considered your motivation, the panel has concluded that it was not satisfied that your actions were sexually motivated.

‘Kissing, touching a bottom, and thrusting a groin towards her are not a matter of impression or capable of misconstruction.

‘This type of behaviour was inappropriate.  These events took place at work; you were considerably senior to Colleague A and you were in a position of responsibility as the nurse in charge of the ward.’

Mapemba admitted referring to her as ‘The Queen of the Sky’ but said that it was in reference to her skydiving hobby which the NMC accepted and ruled was not inappropriate.

Recalling the alleged incident, Miss A said she was so distressed that she was unable to finish her shift and left the ward almost half-an-hour early.

When asked why she had not pulled her personal alarm or made an immediate complaint, she said: ‘There was a number of things I could’ve done, but all I was thinking was “Oh my god, oh my god, what am I going to do?”’

‘I didn’t want to talk about it or mention it ever again, it was horrible, at that point in time I just wanted to forget about it.’

She admitted she had worked with Mapemba on a further 27 occasions before making her complaint, but said she had been careful to avoid being alone with him.

Chloe Barton, who represented Mapemba during the hearing, told Miss A: ‘As time went on I suggest that this incident has become exaggerated in your head.

‘Because you were upset about the hug you went on to perceive other behaviour as sexual.’

The nurse said she had eventually made a complaint on 6 July 2013 after a fellow nurse told her that Mapemba had tried to kiss her repeatedly and had put his hands on her bottom.

The panel also found that in a separate incident he went back to a another nurse’s home after a night out drinking, cornered her and attempted to kiss her after being shown her teddy bear collection.

She later made a complaint about his actions which prompted Miss A to come forward. – See more at: http://www.courtnewsuk.co.uk/?news_id=42111#sthash.Yn03YR2k.dpuf

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