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Tribunal finds agent suffered attempted sexual assault on viewing

A health service tribunal has found that a senior paramedic tried to sexually assault an estate agent as she prepared for prospective buyers’ viewings of a property.

Dean Bradley, who used to work for South West Ambulance Service, has now been struck off by the Health and Care Professions Council.

The allegations were first revealed early last year but in its final hearing in recent days, the HCPC heard that Mahony had tried to sexually assault the agent in February 2014 while trying to sell the house he shared with his fiancée in Bradley Stoke in Gloucestershire.

The tribunal heard that the agent was at the house ahead of viewings by prospective buyers, who were running late.

While the agent was waiting in the kitchen, Mahony apparently started an inappropriate conversation about intimate issues, attempted to kiss the agent and then touched her.

The Bristol Post newspaper says that Mahony followed the agent to a bathroom, then grabbed her and too her to a bedroom; “the panel heard that, on the balance of probabilities, Mahony had tried to force her” into sexual activity.

Other allegations concerning Mahony’s activities with female colleagues with whom he worked were also put to the panel.

The tribunal’s conclusions said Mahony was guilty of “serious misconduct” and “a pattern of inappropriate behaviour towards female colleagues which covered inappropriate comments of a personal nature, inappropriate physical contact, aggressive behaviour and spreading untrue rumours of a sexual nature.”

Recently the Suzy Lamplugh Trust - working to improve safety for agents some 30 years after Suzy’s disappearance - reiterated that agents remain extremely vulnerable.

“We launched ‘Suzy’s Code’ this October -  personal safety guidelines aimed specifically at estate agents and other professionals in the housing sector. We’ve had an overwhelming response and support - it’s just sad that 30 years after Suzy disappeared we still need to improve safety for estate agents” says Danielle Jones, a representative of the trust.

The code, promoted by the trust in association with Knight Frank and Savills as well as security operator SoloProtect and The Guild of Letting and Management, and backed by the NAEA, says agencies should:

- Implement a buddy system so colleagues always know each other’s whereabouts and contact details. This should include checking in and out when meeting arriving at and leaving the property, including out of normal office hours;

- Have a system in place for colleagues to raise the alarm back at the office in case of an emergency while working alone;

- Have a clear procedure to follow if someone does not return or check in when they were expected;

- Where possible, arrange for viewers to visit the office before meeting them at the property so that colleagues have also seen them;

- Offer all staff a personal safety alarm and have discreet lone worker devices available. Before conducting a viewing, find out who else will be present in the property, such as thecurrent tenant, contractors, and so on when you visit;

- Finally, make sure all staff are aware of and have access to the personal safety measures available.

The full Bristol Post story is here.

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