Topless snap nurse struck off register

Claire Isla Lee sent topless pictures of herself to a Cairstairs patient
Claire Isla Lee sent topless pictures of herself to a Cairstairs patient
Have your say

A NURSE at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital who sent topless pictures of herself to a Carstairs patient has been struck off.

Claire Isla Lee wrote “hello big boy” on an image she sent to knife attack schizophrenic Paul Brownlie.

The 32-year-old’s face was not in some of the snaps but colleagues said they recognised her from a large tattoo on her chest.

A nursing disciplinary panel also heard that Ms Lee chased Brownlie around a ward with a water-filled syringe, and bombarded him with “flirty text messages”.

Ms Lee faced nine charges of misconduct before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), covering December 2009 to January 2010, when she worked at the Royal Edinburgh.

She admitted sending Brownlie text messages, allowing him to access a private cupboard, discussing her medication with him, chasing him with a water-filled syringe and sharing a pizza with him.

Charges that she kissed Brownlie on the lips at a Hogmanay celebration in the clinic and that her conduct was sexually motivated were denied by Ms Lee but found proven by the NMC.

Two further charges were found not proven.

The NMC disciplinary panel said it was of the view that “Ms Lee’s misconduct is a serious breach of the trust placed in her as a registered nurse”.

Allowing her to continue practising “would undermine public confidence and trust in the profession”, it said. “The Striking-Off Order is necessary in the interests of public safety and protection.”

Brownlie was sent to Carstairs, a maximum-security hospital, following a drug-fuelled knife attack on a man in East Lothian 13 years ago when he was just 17.

He met Ms Lee after he was transferred to the medium-secure Orchard Clinic at the Royal Edinburgh.

After his relationship with Ms Lee was discovered and she was sacked, Brownlie absconded.

He was recaptured and returned to Carstairs where he married Ms Lee in July last year.

Ms Lee did not attend the NMC hearing in Edinburgh this week but sent a letter in which she denied her fitness to practice was impaired.

The NMC said: “Her actions are fundamentally incompatible with her remaining on the register. If Ms Lee were allowed to remain on the register, the panel is concerned that she would continue to remain a risk to those in her care.

“Public confidence in the profession would be undermined.”