A nurse who walked in on a colleague while she was undressed and looked her up and down with a ‘horrible, creepy face’ has been struck off.

Norman Devlin was working as a matron at Darlington hospital in 2019 when he was accused of walking in on a colleague while she was changing in a curtained bay.

He denied the allegations and was suspended while an investigation was launched.

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Devlin was found to have opened the curtains on the woman, stepped into the bay area and looked her up and down while she was undressed, with a “horrible smirk on [his] face”.

He claimed he walked into the bay area while on the phone in search of a better reception and did not open the closed curtains.

But a witness who was present at the time said they tried to warn Devlin that the woman was getting changed, although he may not have heard, and saw him open the curtain to the bay.

The Northern Echo: Darlington Memorial Hospital.Darlington Memorial Hospital. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

The woman later told the witness she was “annoyed” and “upset”. She said she struggled to work for the rest of the day and was left feeling very vulnerable.

Reporting the incident to the County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust on the evening it happened (July 8, 2019) she said: “He still went ahead and opened the curtain [redacted] looked at me with no shock or apology, then shut the curtain and walked out of the lounge.”

She added: “He opened the curtain enough to look with a horrible creepy face, no apology nothing. Looked up and down. I just remembered his face - his eyes. He smirked.”

A nursing misconduct panel concluded that Devlin’s actions were intentional and sexually motivated, saying he sought sexual gratification. It said there was no other reasonably explanation for his actions.

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It heard it was common practice for staff members to get changed behind the curtain in the bay, and that Devlin did not apologise to the woman immediately or afterwards. He had still offered no apology or shown any remorse.

He was struck off from the nursing register and will be unable to work as a nurse.

A spokesperson for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our priority is always the safety of our patients and staff and we have an open culture and processes in place which encourage colleagues to speak up. 

"We have complied fully with this NMC investigation and are committed to maintaining a safe and inclusive working environment for all our colleagues.”