20 JANV. 2014
Disciplinary Panel hearing - 15 January 2014
The panel considered the following:
Darren Wright may be liable to disciplinary action under RICS Bye-Law 5.2.2(d) by reason of having been convicted of criminal offences which could result in a custodial sentence, namely that on 5 July 2013 he was convicted by Southwark Crown Court of:
Mr Wright asks for his case to be heard by way of written representations. We have considered his written representations carefully and the case summary and bundle of documents prepared by RICS.
On 5 July 2013 Mr Wright was convicted, upon his own confession, of arranging/facilitating the commission of a child sex offence attempting to distribute indecent images of a child and making indecent photographs or studio photographs of a child on 12 occasions. He was sentenced to four years' imprisonment with an extended license of 10 years and will be on the sex offenders register for life.
RICS say that these fall within the provisions of byelaw 5.2.2(d) and this gives may give rise to liability for disciplinary action.
The conviction is a matter of fact and we have seen the certificate of conviction. The judges sentencing remarks state "it is my assessment that Mr Wright offences fall within the definition risk of serious harm and as a result he has been assessed as possessing a high risk of harm to children. It would appear that the risk of harm to children is particularly pertinent to boys between 8 and 15. Therefore, I do assess you as dangerous."
There is an appeal in progress, about the length of the sentence only.
The panel considered that the matters resulting in the conviction render Mr Wright liable to disciplinary action. The panel notes that disciplinary action is not intended to be punitive though it may have that effect. It is to safeguard the reputation of the profession (and of this panel as its regulator), and to protect the public. While the panel has considered the indicative sanctions guide, and has started from the lowest sanction and moved upwards only when rejecting a sanction as inappropriate, it took the panel little time to conclude that the only appropriate sanction was to expel Mr Wright from RICS.
The profession has no place in it for any person convicted of serious sexual offences against children.
The length of the sentence is immaterial. Mr Wright shows little insight in his representations, but even had he been fully insightful and contrite, the reputation of the profession can lead to no other outcome.
Determination on Publication and Costs
This order is to be published in line with the RICS policy on publication of decisions (supplement 3 of the sanctions policy): in Modus, a local newspaper and on the website. It is also to be published in the Estates Gazette, where the fact of the conviction was reported.
Mr Wright is ordered to pay costs of £600.
Mr Wright has 28 days to appeal this decision in accordance with Rule 59 of the Disciplinary, Registration and Appeal Panel Rules.