A senior doctor who downloaded over 1,600 pornographic images of children has blamed it on pressure of work and depression, a court has heard.
Consultant radiologist Charles Bartlett, 49, of Ferryside, Llanelli, had admitted 17 charges of making and possessing indecent photographs of children.
Cardiff Crown Court was told a depressive illness “disinhibited” a persistent interest Bartlett had in pornography.
He avoided a jail sentence but was ordered to carry out a three-year community rehabilitation order, which includes treatment for sex offenders.
He was also banned from working with children, put on the sex offender’s register for five years and prohibited from using computers without permission from probation officers.
He was ordered to pay £800 prosecution costs and an unnamed amount of defence costs.
The judge, Mr Justice Christopher Pitchford, said the loss of Bartlett’s reputation and job was “a punishment that will last for the rest of your life”.
He was not considered to be danger to the public and his “distorted thinking” would be attended to by his sentence, the judge added.
“You were suffering from an illness throughout the time these offences were committed,” he said.
“The illness disinhibited your interest in pornography and its cause was primarily the burden you undertook in your working life.”
A GP’s report from April 2002 said the consultant was suffering anxiety, depression, anorexia and insomnia.
Bartlett, who is serving out his notice at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, was arrested in June as part of a worldwide hunt for paedophiles known as Operation Ore.
Material taken from his home revealed he had saved more than 1,600 indecent images.
Mr Justice Pitchford said: “These images are only available through the corruption and coercion of children.
“You are experienced and intelligent enough to have known this.”
The court heard 10 of Bartlett’s senior colleagues gave testimonials about the quality of his work during 16 years with Carmarthenshire NHS Trust.
“Your secret interest had no observable effect in your dealings with patients, in particular children,” the judge added.
Bartlett said in a letter partially read in a previous hearing: “I wish to apologise to all my patients, and the parents of any younger patients, and assure them that the part of my life that brought me to this was always completely separate.”