March 2004

Pervert doctor jailed for a year

A FAMILY GP who hid a video-camera in a leisure centre’s changing room so he could film children getting undressed was jailed for a year

Perverted doctor Kevin O’Sullivan, a divorced father of two, secretly taped footage of youngsters and their parents at a swimming pool last summer.

Fearing he would be caught, the 39-year-old then offered a complete stranger 50 to pick up a bag that contained the recording equipment.

But it had already been found by sickened staff at the pool in Bakewell, Derbyshire, who immediately contacted police after playing back the tape.

Offices set up a sting operation to catch the owner and were eventually led to O’Sullivan by the pick-up man he had randomly chosen from a phonebook.

Magistrates in Chesterfield were told that when his home was later searched, 193 child-porn images were discovered on his computer.

Police also found spy cameras hidden around the house on Yeld Road, Bakewell – one focusing on a bedroom and the other on the bathroom.

At an earlier hearing O’Sullivan pleaded guilty to taking indecent photographs and possessing indecent computer images of children.

He also admitted an offence of possessing diamorphine after the officers who searched his home found enough of the drug to fill 49 syringes.

Ordering him to sign the sex-offenders register for ten years, district judge John Friel said his actions represented “a quite chilling invasion of privacy.”

The court heard O’Sullivan was suspended from the Jessop Medical Practice in Riddings, after his arrest and his prospects were now in ruins.

Ian Giggal, defending, told magistrates: “As a result of these proceedings he has lost his career. His interest in medicine was erased at a stroke.

“He was once a hardworking GP, but it is unlikely that he will ever secure work as a GP again. A medical career is no longer open to him.”

Mr Giggal claimed that when asked why he had set up the camera in the changing room O’Sullivan simply replied: “To see if it was possible.”

Angela Lloyd, prosecuting, said the family caught on the three-minute tape were “upset and concerned” and feared the footage could be circulated.

“There were major concerns that they would find themselves on the internet, as there is apparently a considerable market for this kind of thing,” she said.

Mr Giggal applied to the court to prevent O’Sullivan – who threatened self-harm and attempted suicide since the incident – being named in reports.

But district judge Friel turned down the request, saying there was no reason why he should not be identified – a decision backed by police.

After the case, chief inspector Richard Gooch said: “If the judge had ordered that this man could not be named it would have set a dangerous precedent.

“Now he has been identified, anyone who wants to talk to us about any inappropriate behaviour concerning him in the past only has to contact us.

“For him to go to the lengths that he did, he clearly thought this through. You have to ask if there was a potential for development if he wasn’t apprehended.”

In a statement issued after the hearing, Amber Valley Primary Care Trust said they welcomed the decision of the court.

Wendy Lawrence, the chief executive of Amber Valley Primary Care Trust said: “There was nothing in his behaviour during his working hours as a GP that suggested he was committing these criminal acts.

“As soon as we became aware of the offences we suspended him from his duties as a GP and took immediate steps to have him disqualified from practising as a doctor.”