Surrey veterinary surgeon Kumaran Kanesh has been struck off by the RCVS Disciplinary Committee after being convicted in the Crown Court for wounding with intent and false imprisonment.

At the one-day hearing, the Committee heard how Kumaran Kanesh, who completed his veterinary studies in Sri Lanka before moving to the UK in 2003 to undertake further studies, had been sentenced to four restriction orders under the Mental Health Act at the Kingston Crown Court on 25 March 2013, following his attack on a woman and child in August 2012.

During the summer of 2012, following a period of worsening mental illness and increasing paranoia about people, Mr Kanesh had launched a pre-planned assault against Mrs A and Child B. In what the Crown Court Judge described as an extremely violent, deeply distressing and seemingly frenzied attack, Mr Kanesh bound and gagged Child B and Mrs A, before proceeding to cut Child B's eyelids with a knife. When Mrs A managed to free herself and tried to protect the child, Mr Kanesh then attacked her, stabbing her 17 times in the subsequent struggle. Both Child B and Mrs A ultimately managed to escape, where they were assisted by members of the public, before the police arrived to arrest Mr Kanesh. The Committee noted that both Mrs A and Child B had since made a good physical recovery from their injuries, although their psychological well being was still in question.

Following the attack, Mr Kanesh was remanded in custody before being transferred to Broadmoor Hospital, where he was retained under the Mental Health Act until sentencing. Consultant psychiatrist Dr Samrat Sengupta told the sentencing hearing that Mr Kanesh suffered from paranoid schizophrenia with symptoms characterised by "persecutory and self-reverential delusional ideations" about members of his family and the wider public. He added that the degree of Mr Kanesh's illness warranted his ongoing hospitalisation and treatment, and that the possibility of relapse from failing to take his medication was a real concern. Passing sentence, his Honour Judge Price QC told Mr Kanesh: "Because of your untreated illness, your mental illness overwhelmed you and you behaved in an extremely violent and deeply distressing way ... I am quite satisfied that you committed those acts while suffering from mental illness. The tragedy is that if you had taken the medication then perhaps none of this would have occurred."

At the outset of the Disciplinary Committee hearing, which Mr Kanesh attended escorted by a mental health nurse, he admitted the convictions and that they rendered him unfit to practise veterinary surgery. Mrs A had written to the College stating she was supportive of Mr Kanesh and that she understood his behaviour had resulted from his ill-health. Dr Sengupta also wrote to the College stating that Mr Kanesh had since responded well to medication with complete resolution of his symptoms and had been moved to a lesser secure environment for further rehabilitation.

In its submissions to the Committee, the College stated that Mr Kanesh's convictions represented some of the most serious offences that it could consider, which, had he been of sound mind, would have led to a significant period of imprisonment. His conduct was of such an exceptionally serious nature as to significantly damage the reputation of the veterinary profession and undermine the public's confidence in it, regardless of the underlying reasons. The Committee accepted the College's submissions and found Mr Kanesh unfit to practise veterinary surgery.

In determining an appropriate sanction, the Committee acknowledged that Mr Kanesh was suffering from a severe, acute psychiatric disorder and was unknown to the UK mental health services at the time of the incident, but noted that he had caused serious physical and mental harm to two individuals, and that his actions had involved a breach of trust, a vulnerable victim, premeditation and a high level of violence.

Speaking on behalf of the Disciplinary Committee, its Chairman, Professor Peter Lees, said: "The seriousness of these offences is self-evidently damaging to the reputation of the veterinary profession and the confidence of the public in the profession. [We] accept that if [Mr Kanesh] fails to maintain his regimen of medication, there is a real risk of a possible relapse ... The only possible sanction in this case is to direct the Registrar to remove [Mr Kanesh's] name from the Register."

The full detail of the Committee's decision is available on the RCVS website (

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