Fake nurse sus­pect faces fur­ther charges in WA

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

QUEENS­LAND’S fake nurse scan­dal has spread, with an al­legedly bo­gus medic fac­ing an ex­tra 14 charges af­ter a re­view found he may have also duped of­fi­cials in Western Aus­tralia.

Ni­cholas Craw­ford, 30, has been charged with un­law­fully treat­ing at least 100 pa­tients in a six- week stint pre­tend­ing to be a re­mote clin­i­cal nurse at the in­dige­nous town­ship of Au­rukun on Cape York.

Po­lice say the fraud­ster un­law­fully used nee­dles, in­serted in­tra­venous drips, pre­scribed drugs, mis­di­ag­nosed a sick in­fant and botched treat­ment of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims.

Mr Craw­ford, of Dar­win, has no for­mal train­ing but was work­ing in the mostly un­su­per­vised $ 100,000- a- year po­si­tion from Fe­bru­ary to March this year.

“It is an un­usual test case,’’ said lead in­ves­ti­ga­tor de­tec­tive Sergeant Adrian Worth. “It was pure blind luck no one was se­ri­ously in­jured or died be­cause of his al­leged ac­tions.”

Mr Craw­ford posted up­dates on Face­book and Twit­ter about how he had been “liv­ing the dream” be­fore he was charged with more than 115 counts of fraud, un­law­ful wound­ing and dis­tribut­ing dan­ger­ous drugs.

Staff and res­i­dents in Au­rukun said Mr Craw­ford was a kind man, po­lice say, but they be­gan to ques­tion his com­pe­tence af­ter some botched pro­ce­dures and many of the 164 pa­tients he saw were an­gry when his al­leged scam was re­vealed.

The scan­dal led to screen­ing of the hir­ing of Queens­land Health staff and an au­dit un­cov­ered he also al­legedly falsi- fied reg­is­tra­tion de­tails and qual­i­fi­ca­tions to get work as a re­mote area nurse in WA.

The Aus­tralian Health Prac­ti­tioner Reg­u­la­tion Agency, on be­half of the Nurs­ing and Mid­wifery Board of Aus­tralia, yesterday filed three more civil charges in Queens­land and 11 in WA.

His case is next listed for men­tion in Cairns Mag­is­trates Court on Au­gust 27.

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