Charge Detail Summary

File Number: Med17/406P
Practitioner: Bruce James Spittle
Hearing Start Date:

Hearing End Date:

Hearing Town/City:
Hearing Location:
Charge Characteristics:

Sexual misconduct - indecent assault (Established)

Additional Orders:

Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client

Order for suppression of name and identifying details granted to the complainant


Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client

Order for permanent name suppression of the complainant


Appeal Order:


Full Decision 969Med17406P.pdf

Appeal Decision:

Precis of Decision:


On 21 February 2018, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal heard a conviction charge laid by a Professional Conduct Committee appointed by the Medical Council of New Zealand against Dr Bruce James Spittle, consultant psychiatrist of Dunedin (the doctor).

The charge alleged that the doctor, was convicted of two counts of indecent assault which are offences under the Crimes Act being punishable by a term of imprisonment not exceeding 7 years, and these convictions either separately or cumulatively reflect adversely on his fitness to practise.


The victim of the doctor's indecent assault was a patient of the doctor and one of the indecent assaults occurred while the patient was in hospital.

The doctor maintained his denial of the conduct for which he was convicted but acknowledged that the Tribunal's role was not to review the conviction and accepted that the convictions reflected adversely on his fitness to practise.

The hearing proceeded by way of an agreed summary of facts.


The Tribunal was satisfied that the offences both separately and cumulatively, reflected adversely on the doctor's fitness to practise.


The Tribunal cancelled the doctor's registration and censured the doctor to mark its disapproval.  It also ordered the doctor to pay 25%, ($5,720) of the costs of and incidental to the PCC's investigation, prosecution and the Tribunal's hearing.

The Tribunal further directed publication of its decision and a summary.