A male nurse who took nearly 1,000 pictures of women sunbathing in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens has been banned from working for a year.
NHS employee Anthony Stewart was caught as he took snaps of unsuspecting women enjoying the sunshine next to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in July 2013.
Police who inspected his camera found it contained “upskirt” shots and several photos of women in bikinis.
Stewart fled when members of the public confronted him about his behaviour but he was detained by officers of the Diplomatic Protection Unit, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.
The nurse – who has worked for a decade in rheumatology, haematology, intensive care and A&E – was registered in London and employed by an unnamed NHS Trust at the time of the offence. He admitted a public order offence and was fined £200 by Westminster magistrates in 2013.
He has now escaped being kicked out of nursing entirely, as an NMC misconduct hearing imposed a 12-month ban. After the suspension, he will be assessed before returning to nursing.
Hyde Park security staff had noticed him several times in June 2013 carrying a large camera and taking pictures near the fountain, which is on the edge of the Serpentine and is a magnet for sunbathers in summer.
They photographed him and then informed police.
Three “outraged” victims were identified from his cache of 958 voyeuristic photos, the NMC hearing was told.
Stewart had a previous caution from Sussex Police in August 2009 after members of the public complained that they had seen him taking photographs of children.
No images of youngsters were found on his camera at the time but officers discovered images of topless sunbathers as well as upskirt pictures.
“Having already been cautioned for taking inappropriate photographs of women in 2009, you repeated the same conduct in 2013 – being found to have 958 photographs of women on your camera”, said Polly Clarke, who chaired the NMC hearing.
“You appeared not to appreciate what was unacceptable about photographing women in the way that you did.”
Ms Clarke noted that Stewart failed to tell the NMC about his 2009 police caution, saying this was “dishonest”. But she accepted that his misconduct had not been linked to his work as a nurse.
“The panel accepted that you have expressed remorse and made repeated apologies for your conduct”, she said. “There was no evidence of any clinical failing in your nursing abilities.”
Stewart said he has sold his camera and declared to the hearing that he intends to return to nursing once he has served his suspension.