Alberto Fioletti has been struck off by the RCVS Disciplinary Committee after being jailed for life for the murder of his former partner, a veterinary nurse. 

Mr Fioletti was found guilty of the murder of Stephanie Hodgkinson at Bournemouth Crown Court in January, and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum 15 years.

The hearing for Dr Fioletti took place on Thursday 6 June, with the Committee deciding to proceed in his absence after Dr Fioletti said in correspondence that he did not want to attend the hearing nor be otherwise represented.

The Committee found the facts of the case proven by the certificate of conviction and went on to consider whether the conviction rendered Dr Fioletti unfit to practise as a veterinary surgeon.

Aggravating factors in terms of fitness to practise included the fact that it was an offence involving violence and loss of life and the injuries caused by Dr Fioletti to Ms Hodgkinson.

The sentencing remarks, which were cited during the disciplinary hearing, also made clear the devastating impact that Dr Fioletti’s actions had on Ms Hodgkinson’s family, including her two young children.

Paul Morris, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: “The Committee considers that, when consideration is given to the ferocity of the attack on Ms Hodgkinson and the number of stab wounds she suffered, when taken together with the finding by the sentencing judge, who presided over the trial, that the respondent “represent[ed] a significant danger to any female with whom you find yourself in a relationship”, members of the public would find it abhorrent for a veterinary surgeon to have acted in this way and would be concerned at the risk the respondent posed to some members of the public.

“This Committee considers that the offence of murder is so inherently deplorable and shocking that it must constitute conduct falling far short of that to be expected of a member of the profession; and is certainly liable to bring the profession into serious disrepute and undermine public confidence in the profession.” 

The Committee then went on to consider the most appropriate and proportionate sanction for Dr Fioletti.

In terms of the aggravating factors in this case, Mr Morris said: “The misconduct in this case relates to a savage, sustained and ferocious attack with a weapon on a defenceless woman in her own home.

"His victim trusted him to be in her home.

"He knew that she was the mother of two young sons, of whom she had custody, and to whom he knew she was devoted.

"He would have known that the effect of his attack on her would have devastating consequences for her sons and her other close relatives – and it did.

"This conduct constitutes disgraceful conduct of the most egregious and reprehensible kind.

“The Committee also considers that the misconduct raises serious concerns about the reputation of the profession in the eyes of right-thinking members of the public.

"This was abusive and controlling conduct of the worst kind and conduct of which the respondent had been guilty of in past relationships, as the sentencing judge found.

"Such acts by their very nature run contrary to the very essence of the practice of the profession of veterinary surgery, which is intended to protect and enhance the welfare and well-being of animals and of work colleagues.”

In mitigation the Committee noted that Dr Fioletti had no previous criminal history and had a hitherto unblemished career as a veterinary surgeon.

The Committee found that only complete removal from the Register was appropriate in this case.

Paul added: “The Committee has reached the conclusion that the respondent’s behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with being a veterinary surgeon.

"The respondent’s behaviour was so serious that removal of professional status and the rights and privileges accorded to that status is considered to be the only means of protecting the wider public interest and of maintaining confidence in the profession.”

The Committee expressed its condolences to the family of Stephanie Hodgkinson for their incalculable loss. 

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