18 NOV 2013
Mr M Delve,
Disciplinary Panel hearing - 13 November 2013
The Panel heard the case concerning Mr Michael Delve conviction in accordance with RICS Bye-Law 5.2.2(d) of RICS Bye-Laws 2009.
Michael Delve may be liable to disciplinary action under RICS bye-Law 5.2.2(d) by reason of having been convicted of a criminal offence which could result in a custodial sentence, namely that on 29 November 2012 he was convicted by Manchester Crown court of an offence of unlawful wounding and sentenced on 03 January 2013 to 8 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months, a Community Order to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work, and compensation of £750.
Findings of Fact
The panel considered whether service had been effected under Rule 23 of the Disciplinary and Appeal Panel Rules 2009 (the Rules). A notice of hearing had been sent by email on 10th October 2013 and Mr Delve had previously responded in detail to the matters relevant to this hearing in his email to RICS of 23 May 2013. The Panel finds service to be in accordance with Rule 23.
The panel next considered whether the case was suitable to be heard by way of written representations. The bundle included a Certificate of Conviction. Mr Delve had agreed to the case being hear by way of written representations. The Panel finds this to be appropriate and decided to proceed.
The Panel found the facts proved in respect of the conviction and that Mr Delve was liable to disciplinary action under Bye-Law 5.2.2 (d).
The panel took into account the written submissions of RICS and Mr Delve, together with the Sanctions Policy.
The Panel took particular note of the circumstances of the conviction and the sentencing remarks of the Hearing Judge. The Panel noted that this was a serious offence of violence in Manchester City Centre, when Mr Delve was drunk and had allowed himself to lose all control. His violence, and the use of a glass as a weapon, resulted in harm and scarring to a member of the public.
The Panel had regard to the Mitigation submitted by Mr Delve and the comments in RICS submissions with regard to mitigation. The panel accepts his expression of remorse, his previous clean criminal and disciplinary record, that he paid his compensation in a single payment and on time, and that he has completed his community service order well ahead of schedule. He acknowledges the benefits of the work he undertook for the charitable organisation and continued to attend after the completion of the order. The Panel also took into account his age and (according to RICS) the continued support of his employer. The Panel also noted that Mr Delve had drawn the matter to the attention of and fully cooperated with RICS. The Panel does consider that the risk of repetition is low.
The panel further had regard to the public interest, the reputation of RICS and that the public expect the highest standards of personal conduct from Chartered Surveyors.
Having considered whether a caution, reprimand, fine or conditions of practice would be a sufficient sanction in this case, the Panel concluded that none was appropriate, owing to the seriousness of the conviction, and that a custodial sentence had been imposed, albeit suspended. Such a conviction is in breach of Bye-Law 5.2.2.(d). Criminal behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with continued membership of any professional body. The Panel concluded that the only appropriate and proportionate penalty in this case is to expel Mr Delve from membership of RICS.
The Panel orders publication in accordance with supplement 3 of the Sanction Policy, that is in Modus on RICS website and in a suitable publication local to Mr Delve.
The Panel orders that Mr Delve should pay RICS cost in the amount of £600.
Mr Delve has 28 days to appeal this decision in accordance with Rule 59 of the Disciplinary, Registration and Appeal Panel Rules.