A child therapist who ‘hard’ slapped a vulnerable four-year-old boy ’10 to 20 times’ for not putting on his shoes is deemed fit to work again after ‘remediing his failings’ and ‘ reflected” on the aggression
- Ramon Priess banged a boy in front of his mother at Maximum Potential in London
- He was found guilty of assault and suspended from his profession for nine months
- Mr Priess was also sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months
- The occupational therapist has now been cleared to return to work in the UK
A child therapist who ‘hard’ slapped a vulnerable four-year-old boy ’10 to 20 times’ for not putting on his shoes and pretending to be asleep has been found fit to work again after ‘remediing to his failures” and “reflecting on aggression.
Ramon Priess has been convicted of assault and suspended from his profession for nine months after punching the child in the face in front of his mother at Maximum Potential in London.
The German-born occupational therapist has now been cleared to return to work in the UK after writing a ‘think piece’.
A Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) panel ruled: “Mr. Priess took action [by] providing a reflective piece covering his insight, remorse, and reflection on the impact of his actions on the reputation of the profession.
“The panel finds that Mr. Preiss’ fitness to practice is no longer impaired because he has corrected his failures, shown insight and issues of public interest have been resolved.”
Ramon Priess (pictured at Hendon Magistrates’ Court in March 2020) was found guilty of assault after punching the four-year-old boy in front of his mother at Maximum Potential in London
Previously, the HCPTS committee heard Mr Priess assault the boy and leave him “crying hysterically” at the end of a session in April 2019.
The boy – who had sensory processing difficulties – was sitting on Mr Priess’s lap when he asked the child to put on his shoes.
The court then heard the child “play dead” or pretend to be asleep. In response, Mr Priess slapped the right side of his face repeatedly – initially ‘leaving his cheek flushed and making the child cry’.
The mother witnessed the incident and spoke to the child’s father later that evening, who then emailed Mr Priess.
He wrote: ‘[The child] came home distraught today. I am extremely disappointed that [he] was repeatedly slapped aggressively. This is extremely disappointing and unprofessional.
“He cried hysterically, that’s not what I expect from a trained professional.”
Mr Priess replied: “Apologies for what happened today. It was not meant to hurt him at all. He also complained of pain in his mouth just before.
‘There’s nothing I can do to justify what happened and I guess it’s probably best if [the child] stay with the maximum potential and do not see me in private.
He was suspended for a total of nine months following the initial HCPTS tribunal and was found guilty of assault following a trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court (file photo above)
“The lines are blurring between my professional relationship/private friendship with [the mother] and [the child]. They feel like family to me and I handled it like I would with my nieces and nephews.
‘Not acceptable from a professional point of view. I love [the child] and I can’t tell you in words how sorry I am.
He was suspended for a total of nine months following the first HCPTS tribunal and was found guilty of assault following a trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London, and was sentenced to a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
He left the UK to work in Germany – where the suspension had no impact on his ability to work.
Mr. Priess claims that he did not work unsupervised in Germany.
Now, having been deemed fit to work again by the HCPTS, he is allowed to return to work in the UK.