A PSYCHIATRIST has become the second Derbyshire doctor in the past month to be sentenced for possessing child pornography.
Andrew Clayton had tried to cover his tracks by deleting indecent images from his computer.
But police discovered 87 pornographic pictures after examining a hard-drive seized from his Derby home.
Some of the images contained scenes graphic enough to be classed by officers as category five – the most severe.
The 52-year-old’s appearance in court came only four weeks after Heanor GP Robert Manley was jailed for three years after amassing nearly 90,000 indecent images of children.
Sentencing Clayton to a three-year community order, Judge John Burgess said: “People who look at these kinds of images are engaging in child abuse.
“People like you are the market, the market for the pornographers who take these pictures and put them on the internet.
“If there weren’t people like you to view this material, these children would not be abused.”
Clayton, a psychiatrist at Derby City Hospital from 1987 until 2006, was also banned from working with children under 16 for the next five years.
An investigation by the General Medical Council is under way to determine if Clayton is fit to practise after suspending him in December last year.
The GMC said it had no knowledge of where Clayton had worked between 2006 and his suspension but it is believed he was in private practice.
The doctor was caught after the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre found he had tried to access a website offering child pornography. It tipped off police.
In September 2007, officers searched the 52-year-old’s home in Whitaker Road, Derby, and seized a computer containing the indecent material.
Police recovered 35 active images and 52 unallocated images from the hard-drive. Active means the pictures can still be viewed and unallocated refers to deleted images.
Jon Wood, prosecuting, said Clayton had installed software that enabled him to delete any trace on his browser history in a bid to avoid being caught.
He also told the court the defendant had typed in “CP” – standing for child pornography – into a search engine so he could claim he was searching websites about corporal punishment.
On sentencing Clayton, Judge Burgess said that although he could jail the psychiatrist, he decided to impose a three-year community order because the number of images was “relatively low”.
Referring to the 20-month wait for the case to be completed, Judge Burgess said: “If you had admitted your responsibility sooner you would have been brought to this court much more quickly. This has been hanging over your head for 20 months and that in itself is like a sentence.”
Clayton pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images of children and admitted two further charges of being in possession of indecent pictures on September 9, 2007.
During the hearing he was told his community order would be supervised by the probation service and was ordered to complete the community sex offenders’ group programme.
Clayton was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years.
Avik Mukherjee, in mitigation, told the court Clayton was “deeply sorry” for his crimes.
He said: “He’s lost his good name, his job, his self-respect and his marriage is now in real danger.”