An architect identified by the ARB in 2007 as being ‘reckless’ with client money has been suspended from the professional register after paying cash from a client into his own account
Mark Heyes of Preston, Lancashire, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct after a hearing of the Architects Registration Board’s professional conduct committee last month.
In 2007, Heyes was reprimanded for unacceptable professional conduct after an ARB committee found him guilty of actions including improperly withdrawing money from a client account.
In November 2008 he was appointed by Dr Wassim Malas as architect and project manager for a scheme to extend and develop a domestic property.
The March 2014 committee heard Heyes was entrusted with £10,000 by Malas with which to pay contractors. Heyes instead paid the money into his own office account and did not pay it back in full for more than a year, according to the committee.
The committee further heard that Heyes had failed to enter into a written contract with the contractor; to issue architect’s instructions; to formally document changes; to notify the ARB of his bankruptcy within 28 days; and to notify the ARB of a judgment debt that had been obtained against him from one of his employees.
In admitting all the allegations, Heyes submitted a statement of mitigation and accepted that he had not acted in a correct manner or in line with his own personal and professional standards.
He has been suspended from the register of architects for two years.
The ARB said it was comfortable with the decisions of both the 2007 and 2014 committee hearings.
It said its committees had to strike a balance between upholding the image of the profession and giving individuals a fair chance to recover from their mistakes and earn a living.
A spokesman said: ‘The committee has guidance that equates erasure from the register with behaviour that is fundamentally incompatable with continuing to be an architect.
‘If conduct is capable of being rectified then suspension is appropriate.’