Kirk Thompson, a Newcastle-based practitioner, has been struck off by the RCVS Disciplinary Committee after being found guilty of manslaughter, assault and drug possession.

Following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court in April 2014, Mr Thompson - who according to the Guardian had at one point been tipped for the job of Chief Veterinary Officer - was convicted of the manslaughter of David Kochs at Mr Thompson’s flat during a crystal-meth-fuelled 'extreme' sadomasochistic gay sex session. He was also convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm (also on Mr Kochs) and possession of methylamphetamine, a Class A controlled drug, both offences occurring on the same night. Mr Thompson was subsequently sentenced to a total of fifteen years’ imprisonment.

Whilst the RCVS opened a case against Mr Thompson in February 2014, it only received confirmation from the Supreme Court of the final conclusion of his subsequent (and ultimately unsuccessful) appeals against his conviction and sentencing in October 2015. The Disciplinary Committee therefore served a Notice of Inquiry on Mr Thompson in November 2015.

Mr Thompson admitted the convictions but did not attend the hearing, due to his current imprisonment, nor was he represented at it; he also declined the opportunity to attend by video link. After due consideration, the Committee decided that the Notice of Inquiry had been properly served and that it was in the interests of justice to proceed in Mr Thompson’s absence.

The Committee was satisfied that Mr Thompson had been convicted of the three offences listed in the charges and concluded that he was not fit to practise as a veterinary surgeon. 

Speaking on behalf of the Committee, its chairman Professor Alistair Barr said: “[We are] satisfied that the type and nature of [Mr Thompson’s] criminal conduct falls seriously below the standard expected of a member of the profession. [We have] noted that Mr Thompson recognises the disrepute his actions have brought on the profession ... and consider that [his] conduct is fundamentally incompatible with being a veterinary surgeon.

“In the circumstances, [we have] concluded that, in the public interest, there is only one proportionate sanction that could be imposed, namely the removal of Mr Thompson’s name from the Register.”

The Committee’s full findings and decision are available on the RCVS website (

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