May 2004

Child porn surgeon can work again

A surgeon who downloaded child pornography from the internet while drunk has been allowed to relaunch his career providing he stays off alcohol.

Christopher Lattimer, 41, who worked at the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, admitted downloading 50 indecent images in 2003.

He was sacked as consultant vascular surgeon, but escaped being struck off the medical register.

The General Medical Council suspended him for nine months last August.

Alcohol tests

Lattimer, of Wallington, Surrey, lost his job after he was tracked down in Operation Ore, an international investigation into paedophiles.

In January last year, he admitted 10 charges of making indecent photographs of children and was given a 36-month rehabilitation order.

He returned before the GMC on Friday, and was given permission to return to work, but was told he would have to remain on the sex offenders’ register.

Committee chairman John Shaw said it would be disproportionate to extend the suspension in spite of the seriousness of the matter.

He said the panel noted the surgeon’s “considerable efforts” to keep up to date and his attendance at lectures and conferences.

Lattimer will be randomly tested for alcohol and barred from treating children under the age of 16 for two years.

He will also have to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and be supervised by a consultant psychiatrist.