A nurse accused of living off the earnings of the prostitution of his wife told a Garda he didn’t think it was an offence in Ireland.
David Pou Navarro, who previously worked at a nursing home in Ennis, Co Clare, received a conviction in 2018 for aiding and abetting prostitution. He was fined €600 and did not appeal the decision.
A complaint was subsequently made to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) and Mr Navarro is now facing an allegation of misconduct for allegedly bringing the nursing profession into disrepute.
It was alleged that on or around July 23, 2016, Mr Navarro lived in whole or in part on the earnings of the prostitution of another person and aided and abetted that prostitution. It was further alleged that on May 9, 2018, at Ennis District Court, he was convicted of knowingly living in whole or in part on the earnings of the prostitution of another person and aiding and abetting that prostitution
The fitness to practice inquiry heard how Mr Navarro and his wife had an account on the website Escort Ireland.
Detective Garda Noelle Bergin of Ennis Garda Station told the inquiry that gardai received confidential information that prostitution was taking place at a house in Station View on the Quin Road.
Gardai carried out surveillance on the property and determined there was “brothel keeping” going on at that address. Mr Navarro was subsequently arrested and questioned.
Detective Garda Damien O’Connor, who was involved in the search of the premises and the interview process, said the couple were making up to €5,000 each month.
Garda O’Connor told the inquiry that Mr Navarro outlined during questioning that the money went towards paying rent and his children’s college education.
Mr Navarro told Garda O’Connor that he wasn’t aware that buying sex was an offence in Ireland as he was advised this by someone from Escort Ireland.
“They provided sex for payment with males, females and couples,” Garda O’Connor said.
Mr Navarro did not appear before the inquiry and was unrepresented.
The fitness to practice committee was told that just because someone has a conviction, this does not necessarily amount to professional misconduct. The committee must consider whether the fact Mr Navarro admitted to aiding and abetting prostitution amounts to professional misconduct and brought the nursing profession into disrepute.
Dr Laura Sahm, chairperson of the committee, said it was a “complex matter” and closed the hearing to deliberate.
She said the committee’s findings would be circulated at a later date.