Nurse jailed for hip-cracking assault wants job back

A NURSE, who was jailed for a violent attack on a friend, will be able to apply to register as a health practitioner in March next year.

This is after she applied for a ruling in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which would allow her to try and return to her former career.

Elizabeth Robyn Sellen 45, previously appeared before Hervey Bay District Court in February, 2018, pleading guilty to guilty to entering a dwelling with intent, common assault and grievous bodily harm.

The court heard that in 2014, an argument broke out between she and a friend after they ran into each other at a supermarket.

Sellen later drove to the victim's house at Gayndah, hurling abuse and a plate.

It escalated when Sellen grabbed the woman by the throat and pushed her against a wall.

The court heard Sellen held the woman's throat for about 30 seconds before throwing

the victim, who was older and smaller than her, into the kitchen.

The victim landed on her right side and "felt cracking" and "severe pain."

The tribunal heard the woman had suffered a broken hip in the altercation.

Sellen was given a head jail sentence of 2.5 years, to be suspended after 10 months.

She recently applied to QCAT for second chance after her registration lapsed in May last year.

In his decision, QCAT Judicial Member John McGill said the original sentencing judge noted that the victim was slightly built, and was, to Sellen's knowledge, suffering from osteoporosis.

"As a result of the injury, she required surgery, and suffered a lot of pain, and was left with serious physical and psychological consequences," he wrote.

"He accepted that the conduct was out of character.

"As a result of her conviction, her employment was terminated by the hospital."

In April, 2018, Sellen changed to non-practising registration, which was not renewed in 2019.

Sellen told the tribunal she was suffering anxiety and depression at the time of offending.

"In her affidavits the respondent has provided information about her background, and some information as to how the offending came about, and its consequences for her," Mr McGill wrote.

"She has expressed remorse, and explained how the sentence of imprisonment affected her, including damaging her family life, which fortunately has since improved.

"She also explained that she would like to be able to support an organisation assisting women adjusting to life after prison, in providing health checks for them.

"She also spoke of having controlled her anxiety and depression with medication prescribed by her GP.

"Since leaving prison, she has not been able to obtain employment, and has limited finances.

"There has been no further offending."

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia submitted that the appropriate sanction included a disqualification from registration for a period of three to four years.

"The respondent submitted that it was relevant that the offending was not connected with her employment as a nurse, that it was out of character, that it did not involve a weapon and that she acted alone, that she had no prior disciplinary history and had self-notified the charges, all of which are correct," Mr McGill wrote.

Sellen was ultimately disqualified from applying for registration as a health practitioner before March 1 next year.


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