JAILED: Bowen nurse Clarito Enojo has been given a nine-month jail term, suspended after serving three months, for indecent treatment of a child.
JAILED: Bowen nurse Clarito Enojo has been given a nine-month jail term, suspended after serving three months, for indecent treatment of a child.

Child molester allowed to work at medical clinic

A NURSE who molested a 13-year-old boy was allowed to work at a medical centre with direct access to children for more than seven months after his guilty plea.

Clarito Enojo, 52, pleaded guilty to indecent treatment of a child on July 25 last year and was jailed in Townsville District Court on Wednesday.

But until Tuesday, he was working at the Herbert St Family Medical Centre in Bowen.

Management at the medical centre only learned of the charge against Enojo when contacted by Newscorp this week. A practice manager confirmed Enojo would have had contact with children during his employment.

Enojo was at a party at a North Queensland town - not Bowen - on September 16, 2015 when he touched the genitalia of the 13-year-old boy.

In court this week, Defence barrister Claire Grant said Enojo was suspended without pay by Queensland Health. Newscorp understands he worked at Collinsville Hospital.

He then took up a position at the private medical centre, working there for 14 months.

Herbert St Family Medical Centre CEO Michelle Hook said she was shocked and disgusted that the centre was not informed Enojo had been charged with a sex offence when he applied for the job.

"We weren't aware that he was charged with molesting a boy and we never would have hired him if we had known," she said. "We checked his registration and it was fine."

Ms Hook said police and the health department should notify prospective employers in such cases and Enojo's nursing registration should have been cancelled.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said the department did not have the power to cancel nursing registrations and had immediately referred the matter to the Office of the Health Ombudsman.

A spokesman for the Office of the Health Ombudsman said he could not disclose specific information about Enojo's registration.

"While the Health Ombudsman has specific powers under the Health Ombudsman Act 2013 to take immediate action against health practitioners that pose a serious risk to the health and safety of the public, one of the essential criteria of exercising this power is a 'necessity to act',", he said.

"In cases where a practitioner has been imprisoned, the necessity to act can be diminished and immediate action may not be deemed necessary."

In court, Crown prosecutor Jodie Crane said Enojo's victim was watching television at the party when then 52-year-old came inside to charge his laptop.

"(Enojo) walked towards the complainant child, reached down and touched his testicles over his clothing for about two minutes," she said.

The boy made an immediate complaint and Enojo was arrested on October 8, 2015.

At the time of his arrest, Enojo was also charged with stealing prescription medications from work and sending them to his ill mother in the Philippines.

For that offence, he was sentenced to 80 hours community service in May, 2016.

Judge Michael Shanahan said a victim impact statement written by the boy's mother showed there had "clearly been an impact".

"His mother has observed him to have become more anxious and scared. He's agitated and uneasy around strangers," he said. "His sleep is disturbed and he has become overly protective of his younger brother."

Enojo was sentenced to nine months jail, suspended after three months.

The Bowen Independent reported yesterday that Enojo was still on the national nurses' register.

The Bowen community is in shock and Herbert St Family Medical Centre management is furious that, despite the seriousness of Enojo's charges, they were not informed.

Michelle Hooke, the CEO of centre operator Girudala, said the centre had conducted reference checks, a review of Enojo's criminal history and registration checks, including his registration with AHPRA and his records raised no reason for concern.

"We knew nothing, he told us nothing and nobody forewarned us," Mrs Hooke said.

"We are disappointed it was kept hush hush, a serious offence like that against a child and it was kept quiet until the day he was sentenced, even though he pleaded guilty over six months ago. If they are charged with a serious offence like this, prospective employers need to know."

Police confirmed that, once an individual was charged with a child sex offence, it was at the discretion of an employer whether they were allowed to be employed to work with children, despite there being nothing to require the accused to disclose their charges.

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