IT IS a matter of concern if our ambulance service employed a murderer in a senior position without his past being discovered.

Robert King, once the operations manager for South Central Ambulance Service, will appear before a disciplinary hearing today accused of not revealing that in 1981 he was convicted of murdering a 42-year-old homosexual in Maidenhead.

Some may argue that in the ensuing 31 years King will have changed. That is a point that can be debated.

But what cannot be open to debate is that anyone convicted of the most heinous crime could be employed by the SCAS (or its Oxfordshire predecessor) without his past being properly checked.

Criminal Records Bureau checks are there to prevent people with criminal records for violence or sexual offending having access to the young and vulnerable.

They are not perfect. In the early days the system was easy to dodge, just by using a fake name.

If the allegation proves correct that a murderer was working in a senior ambulance service position, we will expect some honest and frank explanation as to how the system has fallen down.