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Media statement: Joseph McKeown

Posted on 12 October 2020

There have been media reports about a former student, Joseph McKeown, who was jailed in 2019. The University of York has issued the following statement.

“We deeply regret that Joseph McKeown continued his short internship following his guilty plea. We apologise unreservedly for the distress caused and our thoughts remain with the victim of his crime.

“As soon as we were made aware of the circumstances, which was after the internship ended, disciplinary action was taken and the University liaised closely with the department involved, contacting staff and students and offering one-to-one advice and support.

“We remain committed to applying the lessons learnt from this case, including the ongoing review of our policies and procedures.

“We would like to reassure our staff and students that their safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance, and we continue to work hard to create a culture where all our staff and students feel safe and able to report unacceptable behaviour, confident that the University takes this issue very seriously.”

In response to media reports about references provided, a University spokesperson said:

“The academics confirmed they were not aware of the guilty plea at any point during Joseph McKeown’s time working at the University. The references were given in good faith and without prior knowledge of the guilty plea.

Any staff or students affected by this story can find more help and information on our Student Report and Support pages or staff Health Assured support.