Sunderland car accident liar faces battle to save NHS nursing career

A nurse who lied over a car accident which injured a friend is now facing a battle to save her career.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 25th October 2019, 4:23 pm

Leanne McGough, of Sunderland, received a suspended jail sentence earlier this year after she admitted perverting the cause of justice following the incident at a Northumberland glamping site.

McGough, a nurse at the city’s Royal Hospital, initially backed up a story by Jemma Armstrong that Armstrong was driving a car which reversed into and injured Natalie Cave.

Ms Cave was pinned underneath the Audi with firepit debris burning into her leg and is now scarred for life after suffering nerve and ligament damage to her leg.

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Accomplice Jemma Armstrong.

McGough and Armstrong quickly changed their stories and confessed that a teenager had been behind the wheel.

McGough, 37, of Sheppard Terrace, Castletown, and Armstrong, 35, of West View, Roker, Sunderland, both pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at Newcastle Crown Court.

McGough, who was in a passenger seat at the time, also admitted a further charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

She will now face a Nursing and Midwifery Council disciplinary hearing early next month.

Leanne McGough.

While the exact charges have still to be confirmed, an Edinburgh panel will decide on Friday, November 8, if McGough is fit to continue practising as a nurse.

Potential sanctions include a caution, conditional order, suspension or a striking-off order.

The last verdict would prevent her from working as a nurse or midwife in the United Kingdom or as a nursing associate in England.

McGough, Armstrong and mum-of-two Ms Cave were among a group of then friends enjoying a trip to the Dark Sky Glamping campsite in Humshaugh, near Hexham, in August 2018 when the incident took place.

Ms Cave's injuries.

Ms Cave, 29, stayed in hospital for a month and was later forced to quit her customer service job at Greggs over fears she would not be able to cope with its physical demands.

McGough was sentenced to 21 months of imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work in April this year.

Support worker Armstrong received 18 weeks of imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with 150 hours unpaid work.

Sunderland Royal Hospital has said it is unable to comment.

Injury victim Natalie Cave.