May 2008

Family doc jailed over child porn pics

A TRUSTED family doctor who downloaded hundreds of sickening images of child abuse has been put behind bars.

Dr Kevin Griffiths, 49, was collared when one of his colleagues at the Palmer Community Hospital in Jarrow found his secret porn stash on a computer memory stick in his office at work.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the GP’s fellow doctors at the practice had already been suspicious about Griffiths’ behaviour when patient notes started going missing, and he started smelling of alcohol at work.

Griffiths was arrested after the grim find, and immediately confessed he had used two of his home computers to access and download the material from the Internet.

Griffiths, of Wallsend, admitted 13 charges of making and possessing indecent photographs of children between May 2006 and February 2007.

The court heard more than 200 of the movies and images were of categories four and five – the most serious of their type.

Some of the images showed girls as young as five being forced into having sex with more than one man.

Griffiths told police he had realised he had a problem stemming from work-related stress and alcoholism, and was already seeking help from his own GP and a psychotherapist.

He told police: “I realise I have problems and an addictive personality.

“I have been secretly drinking alcohol and downloading porn even though, obviously sooner or later, I would be caught.

“I am glad it is now out in the open, and I might get some help.”

Defence barrister Robert Woodcock said Griffiths was suitable for sex offender treatment through the probation service, and could be safely managed in the community.

Mr Woodock said Griffiths’ behaviour caused “catastrophic wreckage” to the lives of his wife and son, and his marriage has now broken up.

Judge Esmond Faulks jailed him for 12 months, ordered him to register as a sex offender for 10 years, and banned him from working with children for life.

He was also banned from using the Internet for entertainment.

The judge said the images and movies were of the “vilest type”, and added: “This is a tragic and traumatic fall from grace for a man in your positiion.

“Other than this matter you have led a life dedicated to others, both in your work and your private life.

“You are a man of impecible character, and I imagine as a result of these offences you will never be able to practise as a doctor again.”