May 2003

Consultant avoids jail sentence

A hospital consultant escaped a jail sentence after being convicted of downloading child pornography on his home computer.

Adrian Catterall, a 43-year-old gastroenterologist at the Lister Hospital in Hertfordshire was allowed to go home after a judge said his life had been ruined by his actions.

Catterall, of Guilden Morden, near Royston in Hertfordshire, had admitted 16 charges and will be struck off the medical register.

Judge Gareth Hawksworth at Cambridge Crown Court said: “You have dragged yourself and your family into a hell from which there will be only limited escape.

“You have ruined your career and you will have to explain to your children why your career came abruptly to an end.”

Doctor suspended

A spokesman for the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said Dr Catterall had been suspended when the allegations came to light.

After his conviction in March, hospital officials said there was no evidence his treatment of patients was anything other than professional.

Catterall has been given a three year rehabilitation order and been ordered to attend the Thames Valley sex offenders unit.