June 2021

Creepy Hull doctor’s sexual Instagram messages to young boys

A Hull paediatrician has been struck off after sending creepy and sexually motivated social media messages to young boys.

Dr Simon Carter met the boys through his work in the Scouts and a church youth group.

Between July 2016 and January 2018, Dr Carter sent a number of messages via Facebook Messenger and Instagram to four different boys and also to a girl as part of a group chat.

The messages were deemed inappropriate and sexual in nature. There were further allegations he met or attempted to meet with one of the boys, and had engaged in further inappropriate interactions with other children.

A medical tribunal took place last week, which decided he should be erased from the medical register after his contact with the boys was deemed to be serious misconduct.

Dr Carter qualified in 2006 with an MB ChB from the University of Dundee before moving to Yorkshire in 2008 to take up a place on a specialist training programme in paediatrics with what is now Health Education England Yorkshire and Humber in Willerby.

He was practising in East Yorkshire at the time of the events and has worked at hospitals in Hull, Bradford, York and Lincolnshire.

Dr Carter was not present at the tribunal but had previously indicated he has not practised as a doctor for three years.

Messages sent by Dr Carter to the boys was investigated by police but the matter never reached court as the CPS deemed there to be not enough evidence.

He was aged 34 when he started sending the messages and is around 39 years old now. Many of the disturbing messages Dr Carter sent have been included in the tribunal report.

They included one he sent one boy, aged between 14-16 at the time, saying: “I have had a couple of pints to drink so my inhibitions are down. Just got back home and into bed. Should go to sleep but unfortunately my p**** has other ideas!

“Think I’ll have a play with it before trying to sleep, hehe. Oh dear – why am I telling you this? I don’t know, but hey, proves I’m human I suppose!”

Another message sent to the boy, known as Child A, said: “This morning was really lovely. Thank you so much for the company. Chatting made me realise quite how much I’ve missed conversations with you

“I would be more than happy to stay in and simply curl on the sofa with you next time but walking and talking and coffee and chat are also good.”

Another, to a boy aged 11 or 12, said: “I was slightly tempted but decided against getting you undies for a Christmas present, lol.”

The child, known as Child B, was sent another message that was both bizarre and overly sexual. It said: “It’s all a reference to stick insects getting stuck when having sex.

“The first one is me saying I have nobody to have sex with. The second one is saying that I use my hand for sexual pleasure.”

In a message in a group chat that including three boys, including a 15-year-old known as Child C, he mentioned “condoms” and “lube”.

While Dr Carter admitted sending the messages he denied there was any sexual motivation.

In a statement, he said: “I accept that I sent a number of messages to Children A, B and C. I accept that it was inappropriate for me to do so.

“I also accept some of the messages were sexual in nature and that this was inappropriate. I deny however that the sending of any of these messages was sexually motivated.”

The Tribunal was mindful that Dr Carter was an adult in a position of trust, professionally as a paediatrician, but also as a leader of a Scout group and through his involvement in a church youth group and church choir, where Dr Carter was a parishioner.

Dr Carter met the boys either through the church youth group or the Scouts and not through his professional role as a paediatrician.

The tribunal took a dim view of the messages Dr Carter sent.

The report said: “The tribunal considered it wholly inappropriate for an adult to be introducing topics of puberty as conversation and making personal disclosures as to underwear.

“The remainder of the messages were often very over-familiar and concerned highly inappropriate topics. Considered individually or as a whole chain of correspondence this was inappropriate.”

At Christmas in 2017, Dr Carter sent the group of boys a link to a series of pictures of Christmas decorations which appeared to have the shapes of phalluses.

The Tribunal also noted Dr Carter had signed a Safeguarding Agreement with the York Diocese in April 2016 in which he agreed, among other things, not to text, message or email minors under the age of 18 on an individual basis.

He also agreed to “apply behaviours used in professional work to all other areas of life in relation to touching children, hugging and showing affection”.

The children involved described the messages from Dr Carter as “intrusive and annoying”. Dr Carter also initiated a Snapchat conversation with a teenage boy who was gay.

In a statement the boy said: “I didn’t tell my parents [about the conversation] at first, but I did tell my mum in October or November 2017 after Simon had messaged me on Snapchat, initiating a conversation about my sexuality.

“I entered into a conversation with him about coming out and being gay, but I remember I thought it was strange for him to ask me about it and I felt quite uncomfortable discussing it with him.”

Dr Carter was also seen having a tickle fight with one of the children by the boy’s father.

The tribunal said: “It was inappropriate for Dr Carter to be touching Child B in these circumstances, particularly given the short period of time which he had known Child B’s family.

“This was a direct transgression of a boundary of which he ought to have been aware, given his age, his role as a paediatrician and his position in the Scouts.”

Dr Carter insisted that his actions throughout were not sexually motivated.

In a statement he said: “My loneliness and lack of self-esteem means that I can then be perceived as overstepping boundaries when I am only trying to make an effort to be friendly with others.”

But, in reference to the messages sent to Child A, the tribunal felt they were sexually motivated.

The report says: “The tribunal concluded it was entirely consistent with the chain of correspondence and was rightly inferred on the balance of probabilities that Dr Carter’s motivation in messaging Child A was sexually motivated.

“The tribunal inferred, on the basis of these messages, that Dr Carter had been intent on pursuing a future sexual relationship with Child A.”

The tribunal also decided messages to Child B were also sexually motivated.

The report says: “The Tribunal determined Dr Carter’s motivations towards Child B clearly had a sexual component, in that he was consistently introducing sexual matters into his messages to Child B, who was between 11 and 12 years of age.

“He also pressed for information from Child B in the messages concerning the sleepover.

“The tribunal determined that Dr Carter’s messages were not indicative of an adult trying to ‘be one of the lads’, because the sexual content was completely one-sided, coming from the doctor.”

Terence Rigby, counsel for the General Medical Council, argued that Dr Carter’s actions meant his fitness to practice had to be impaired.

He said: “The gravity of Dr Carter’s misconduct was such that other members of the profession and the public would be surprised and disappointed if his fitness to practise were not found to be impaired as a result.”

The tribunal decide Dr Carter’s actions amounted to serious misconduct and erased him from the medical register with immediate effect.