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'disturbing texts' Healthcare assistant was ‘scared’ to go to work after colleague sent ‘inappropriate messages’ on Facebook

A fitness-to-practice inquiry heard how Allen Alex sent messages saying “hey sexy lady” and “I like when I touch you, thank you for letting me”.

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A healthcare assistant said she felt “helpless” and was scared to go to work after a colleague started to send her “inappropriate messages” on Facebook.

Ewelina Makson made a complaint after a male nurse at TLC nursing home on the Straffan Road in Maynooth, Co Kildare, sent her a number of messages between October and November 2018.

A fitness-to-practice inquiry heard how Allen Alex sent messages saying “hey sexy lady” and “I like when I touch you, thank you for letting me”.

Mr Alex (35) has since left Ireland and is no longer working at TLC.

He is facing three allegations regarding his behaviour towards his former colleagues Ms Makson and nurse Karen Grogan.

It is alleged that between March 6, 2018, and January 27, 2019, he sent inappropriate messages via Facebook to Ms Grogan, that between various dates in October 2018 he inappropriately touched Ms Makson on the abdomen while working and that he sent messages of an inappropriate and/or sexual nature to her via Facebook.

He is also facing one further allegation of professional misconduct as it is argued the above alleged incidents amounted to a serious falling short of the standards of conduct expected among nurses.

Ms Grogan told the hearing how Mr Alex had sent a series of inappropriate messages using Facebook Messenger before and after he had worked at the Maynooth nursing home.

At one stage she blocked him but he somehow continued to send her messages.

Ms Grogan said the messages started off friendly but then became “intense and very inappropriate”.

“It was affecting my work,” she said.

“I was worried if I’d have to see him and take handover from him. I shouldn’t be going into work and made me feel intimidated.”

Some of the messages he sent included: “U r breaking my heart to love you” and "I am sorry I can't keep my word in loving u. Feel like proposing u so I can get someone to love me. Don't feel like marrying a girl is a strange (sic) when my dad tell me. love me Karen as I had never been loved by anyone. Please tell me if you feel annoyed by replying to me".

Ms Grogan said that in January 2019 after Mr Alex had left Ireland to return home to India she received more messages.

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Mr Alex texted: "I am leaving nursing job. Thanks for everything. Good night and bye take care. Please pray for me."

The next day he texted again, saying: "I love you so much, even till my last breathe (sic)."

Ms Grogan said she found those texts “disturbing”.

The inquiry later heard from healthcare assistant Ms Makson, who gave evidence through a Polish interpreter.

She alleged that on at least three or four occasions Mr Alex touched her on the abdomen while working. She initially thought this was unintentional but after he started to send her messages on Facebook she thought it was intentional. She told how she started to avoid Mr Alex in work and was afraid to make a complaint as she was new to the nursing home and feared a backlash.

She said she deleted some of the messages as she was worried her children would read them while playing with her phone.

Mr Alex declined to give evidence but in his submissions he apologised.

He said it was with a “very heavy heart and deep regret that I painfully agree that I carried out those actions even though they were unintentional”.

Mr Alex said he is unmarried, has never had a partner in his life and has “felt a deep vacuum all my life”.

He accepted that he sent inappropriate messages but did not accept the allegation of professional misconduct.

Mr Alex had worked at TLC since 2014 and argued that there had been no problems up until that point.

He attended a counsellor to seek help and said he is in a much better place now.

“I place my sincere apologies on record. I regretfully admit I violated the code of professional responsibility.”


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