Senior Devon children’s doctor in court for child abuse images – Dr Jonathan Walsh has now been Struck Off
A children’s doctor at a Devon hospital – who was jailed for downloading child pornography depicting abuse of a 12-month-old baby – has been struck off.
Dr Jonathan Walsh, a senior paediatrician at North Devon District Hospital, was jailed for three years in March after admitting distributing horrific films of the worst kind of child abuse to fellow paedophiles.
And yesterday he was officially struck off by a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service disciplinary panel hearing in Manchester.
Walsh used a sophisticated hard drive cleaning programme called ‘CyberScrub’ to cover up his illegal activity but was caught after a forensic expert was called in.
The 47-year-old father-of-two downloaded at least 27 abuse films from the internet and was jailed in March following guilty pleas to seven counts of making indecent photographs of a child and ten counts of distribution.
Walsh is currently serving his sentence in Dartmoor prison and was not at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing in Manchester yesterday.
Walsh, formerly of Barnstaple but now living in Lytham St Annes, Lancs, was jailed for a total of three years and told his career and reputation were in tatters
Walsh from Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, told his solicitor he committed the offences because he was ‘tired’ of working at the hospital and wanted to quit his job.
He had admitted to using using CyberScrub and eMule peer-to-peer software after watching adult pornography but claimed the child porn had been downloaded inadvertently.
Walsh, along with his wife and children, moved from their home in North Devon to Lancashire after she decided to stay with him. He was dismissed from his on June 15, 2016.
As well as the three year prison sentence, Walsh was put on the sex offenders’ register for life and was given a sexual harm prevention order. None of the offences related to patients at the North Devon District Hospital.
A senior children’s doctor from Devon has appeared in court charged with child porn offences.
Dr Jonathan Walsh, 46, has been accused of making and distributing indecent images of children between January 2014 and last August.
He was a consultant paediatrician in the children’s and adolescent services department at the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust until he was suspended following his arrest last September.
He was sacked after he was charged by police.
Walsh, now living in Lytham St Annes, Lancs, did not enter any pleas yesterday when he appeared before a judge at Exeter Crown Court.
The case was adjourned for a month and Walsh was bailed. He will enter pleas to the charges when he returns next month, the judge was told.
Despite the hot weather he left the court wearing a flat cap.
George Thomson, medical director at the Trust, said a hotline had been set up to deal with calls from those concerned about the matter.
He said:”It is our understanding that none of these charges relate to contact offences and none of these images relate to patients at North Devon District Hospital. As of June 15th we dismissed Dr Walsh from our employment with immediate effect.”
Police welcome sentence of Dr Jonathan Walsh
20th March 2017
Paediatrician sentenced to 3 year imprisonment
Today, Dr Jonathan Walsh has been sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for possessing, distributing and making indecent images of children.
Walsh pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court on Monday 20 March to 17 charges which included 9 counts of distributing indecent images of children and 6 counts of making indecent images of children. The vast majority of the charges related to ‘Category A’ images which are the most serious in their nature.
Police have worked closely with the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust throughout this case and can confirm that none of these crimes relate to contact offences, and none of these images relate to patients at the North Devon District Hospital.
Jonathan Walsh, 47, of Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, and formally of Barnstaple, was arrested following a police investigation launched in September 2015.
Detective Inspector Andrea Kingdon from the Force Child Exploitation Unit, said: “We are pleased with today’s sentence and I would like to thank our partner agencies, North Devon Healthcare Trust, for their assistance throughout this investigation.
“I would also like to thank the investigation teams who worked tenaciously to bring about today’s result in bringing this offender to justice.
“Jonathan Walsh was working in a position of responsibility where he had a duty to protect children and young people, yet he choose to commit crimes with the possession and sharing of indecent images of children which leads to the abuse of some of the most vulnerable in our society.
“Whilst these may not have been contact offenses, the viewing and sharing of these types of images directly leads to the abuse of the most vulnerable in our society – Dr Walsh is as responsible as those who film and take part in this horrific abuse of children.
“I hope that this case sends out a strong message to those using the internet for deviant purposes that we have the capability to use advanced technology and expert help to uncover the truth and bring offenders to justice.”