A man with no qualifications who worked as a vet in a Taunton practice for almost two years has been jailed for three years.
Patrick Keniry, 59, currently living at Crosslanes, Purton Stoke, Swindon, used the identity of a properly qualified and legitimately registered veterinary surgeon when he applied for a job at Priory Close Veterinary Surgery in February 2015.
He court heard he had carried out a number of procedures and treatments on animals - including surgery.
He appeared before Taunton Crown Court on 17th October, 2017 for sentencing after admitting one charge of fraud and one of practising as a registered veterinary surgeon when he was not qualified.
The court also heard he has two convictions dating back to 1986 in his native South Africa for fraud and impersonating a veterinary surgeon and four convictions in the UK for practising as an unregistered vet, as well as convictions for fraud.
In the past, has managed to gain employment in large and small animal practices across the UK, and worked as a vet at a greyhound track.
Prosecuting, Neil Treharne, told the court an investigation had been carried out by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons on May 2 this year.
Keniry had assumed the identity of a fully qualified vet when he started working for the surgery after a short trial period.
"He applied for a job at the practice and was originally employed on a locum basis, and he seemed to do well at the practise," Mr Treharne said. "He started in Summer 2015."
"Staff said that at times he seemed a little rusty, but he said it was because he had been practising in Australia."
The court heard a cat under Keniry's care had died on the operating table, but that on the whole the practice had been happy with his performance.
"When it came to light that Keniry was not who he said he was, staff were surprised and shocked," he said.
The court also heard Keniry had been paid over £40,000 in wages and had been living free of charge in a flat, making the value of his fraud a little under £50,000.
"When Keniry was arrested, he was taken into custody and offered no comment," he said.
A number of members of the public attended the hearing, filling the public gallery of the court.
Keniry represented himself in court, and handed Judge David Ticehurst a synopsis for a novel in his defence.
He told the court he had 'nothing much to say', when given the opportunity to defend himself.
"I am guilty as charged," he said.
Sentencing, Judge David Ticehurst told him: "You have four different dates of birth, four different names and now you have tried to practise under another name.
"You deceived the veterinary practice, and you deceived all of their clients."
He said that Keniry had tried to blame the practices that employed him for not carrying out stringent checks into his identity.
"It is not the fault of the people who employed you. It is your fault. You can't help yourself. You are a fantasist. A recidivist who will continue to carry out these sort of offences as often as you can get away with it.
"If you can convince people you are a vet and earn money by operating on their animals, that is what you will do."
The judge ordered a sentence of three years in prison for fraud, with a Proceeds of Crimes Act hearing to try and claw back some of the money he earned scheduled for the new year.
Article Source: Somerset Live
Image courtesy Somerset Live image archive
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