Bogus vet Russell Oakes removed from RCVS register

  • Bogus vet Russell Oakes has been struck off the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) register.

    Earlier this month (5 February) the RCVS disciplinary committee directed that Mr Oakes be removed from the register, finding him guilty of fraudulent registration.

    Mr Oakes had been illegally practising as a veterinary surgeon in north west England as “Formby Equine Vets” for six months before being arrested in March 2008. He “treated” a number of animals including nearly killing a pony by botching a castration.

    In March 2008 Mr Oakes was charged with fraudulent entry onto the register for submitting a fake degree certificate and a false letter of “good standing” from Murdoch University in Australia.

    On 16 October Mr Oakes was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court after pleading guilty to 41 offences, including fraud, forgery and perverting the course of justice. On 11 January he was sentenced to 2 years in prison.

    The RCVS disciplinary hearing was concluded on 5 February without Mr Oakes being present.

    The committee was provided with evidence from RCVS staff regarding the registration process and declarations from Murdoch University confirming the signatures on the certificate were fake and that there had never been a student of his name at the university.

    The committee found he knowingly submitted fraudulent registration documents and should be removed from the register.

    Alison Bruce, chairman of disciplinary committee said: “This was a deliberate and dishonest offence by a man without the necessary qualifications to practise as a veterinary surgeon and it had the effect of exposing members of the public to his fraud, and their animals harm.”

    The RCVS has revised registration procedures in light of this case and now requests all applicants produce original copies of certificates and letters of “good standing” at the registration ceremony.

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