September 2003

Nurse who hoarded child porn images is struck off

A junior nurse who downloaded sickening images of child pornography from a US website at the centre of an international paedophile ring, was struck off yesterday.

Lee Wright, 24, had thousands of pictures of girls and boys as young as three being abused stored on his home computer.

He was discovered by officers investigating child porn on the Internet as part of Operation Ore, following a tipoff from the FBI.

Wright was spared a jail sentence, despite being convicted of ten charges of making indecent photographs in October last year.

But he was sacked from his job on an adult ward in the University Hospital of North Durham, in Durham City, after only two months work.

Wright, who is no longer living at his address in Marmaduke Street, Spennymoor, County Durham, was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The committee struck him off in his absence after failing to track him down.

Chairman Valeric Morrison said: “The public have the right to receive care from reputable professionals who they can trust in the most intimate and vulnerable circumstances.

“Lee Wright has failed to justify this public trust. His name will be removed from the register with immediate effect.”

Wright paid $25 to download up to 1,500 pictures over three days.

In total, more than 8,500 indecent pictures were found.

Detective Constable Jason Corbett, of Durham CID, told how police raided Wright’s home after being alerted that the nurse had visited the US website twice in a year.

He said: ‘The pictures featured sexual acts on both sexes under the age of 16. Some of them were three or four years old, five at most. The images I looked at were extreme and quite disturbing.

“Children were tied to trees or crucifixes. All the images were extreme without exception.

“In interview he said he was aware of indecent photographs being present but only because he had not had time to delete them.

“He said he had no idea and did not knowingly store indecent photographs on his computer. He also claimed he must have downloaded them while downloading pictures of adult pornography.”

Wright, who did not attend the hearing, had asked for the case to be heard in private because it would “embarrass and humiliate” him and endanger his health.

The committee rejected his application.