A medical practitioner previously convicted for the murder of his wife was today sentenced to a term of imprisonment: R v Crickitt (No 2) [2017] NSWSC 542.

Relevant to the objective seriousness of the offence was the fact that the offender was the treating doctor of the victim. The sentencing judge stated at [31]:

An important aspect of the offending is that it involved a very serious breach of trust. Not only was the deceased the offender’s wife and as such entitled to trust the offender as her partner and husband of many years, but he had been her treating doctor for some years. As her treating doctor, he prescribed for her various medications covering a range of conditions. The deceased undoubtedly trusted the offender’s judgment and decisions in relation to the treatment of those conditions and her health generally.

The sentencing judge further commented on the significance of an abuse of trust by a medical practitioner, at [61]:

The abuse of trust which characterised this offence is not to be tolerated in our community. Medical professionals and doctors, such as the offender, who misuse the trust placed in them by those to whom they provide treatment and care by committing serious criminal acts against them, should know that they will be held accountable and will be met with heavy punishment.

 

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