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  1. ITV Report

Man who posed as a qualified vet jailed for three years

Patrick Keniry used the identity of a registered veterinary surgeon. Photo: Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

A man who worked as a vet in a Taunton practice with no qualifications has been jailed for three years.

59-year-old Patrick Keniry used the identity of a registered veterinary surgeon for his job at Priory Close Veterinary Surgery.

He worked at the practice for almost two years.

Taunton Crown Court heard Keniry had been previously convicted in his native South Africa and elsewhere in the UK.

He admitted one charge of fraud and one of practising as a registered veterinary surgeon when he was not qualified.

Eleanor Ferguson, Director of Legal Services at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons says the case is 'unprecedented' but is a reminder that practises should be vigilant.

RCVS has issued advice for both practices and the public.

We recommend that potential employers contact our Registration Department to make checks, always interview a potential employee face-to-face, ask to see supporting identity documents, prepare questions which confirm where and when they studied, obtain references and, if they are employed, mentor the new member of staff to oversee their performance.

For members of the public we recommend that, if they have concerns about the legitimacy of their veterinary surgeon, they talk to someone else in the practice about their concerns or contact us so that we can make further enquiries. Members of the public can also check on the status of veterinary professionals using our Find a Vet search tool: www.findavet.org.uk

– Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons