You have pleaded guilty, with the exception of 2 counts, to an indictment containing 27 counts of offences Contrary to sections 7, 9 and 10 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, as well as an offence of voyeurism and 2 offences of possession of indecent images.
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Those offences contrary to ss7, 9 and 10, that is of sexual activity with a child, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual assault of a child under 13, involve a course of conduct by you over a period of about 3.5 years and the targeting of 18 young boys, the oldest being 15 and the youngest being 10, who at the material time were your patients and who were ostensibly, being examined by you, a consultant paediatric haematologist at Addenbrookes’ Hospital and who most importantly , were all vulnerable and gravely ill.
In addition you engaged in voyeurism by secretly filming your patients with a camera concealed in a pen whilst in the hospital, as well as having in your possession a disc which was found at your home, containing 16,000 indecent still images of children and 20 moving images, some, not the greater proportion, involving acts of penetration. The children in these images were of roughly similar age to the patients you abused and mostly images of male children.
In consequence of your pleas of guilt at an early stage in these proceedings you are entitled in law to receive a discount of 33% upon your sentence. Some might observe, given the overwhelming nature of the evidence in this case that your pleas of guilt do not merit such a discount but I bear in mind, that by your pleas you have at least saved your victims, their families and your colleagues from the very real trauma of reliving their experiences and giving evidence. Having said that your pleas of guilt are, in truth the only mitigation available to you.
The offences contrary to ss7, 9 and 10 involved the manipulation by you of your patients, their parents and your colleagues. In some cases you exaggerated the seriousness of the child’s illness to ensure further examinations took place than were strictly necessary in order to increase your opportunities to abuse.
You persuaded parents and colleagues to allow you to examine your patients in the absence of chaperones and then, in some cases, where the child must have seemed to you to be understanding of what you were doing, swore them to silence. Having achieved the privacy and frequency of contact you desired, for your selfish sexual gratification, you caused them yourself to achieve erections or encouraged them to do so themselves and in some cases encouraged them to masturbate and touched their genitals on the pretext of medical examination.
In many years experience on the bench, I have never come across a more culpable or grave course of sexual criminality which has involved such a gross and grotesque breach and betrayal of your Hippocratic Oath and trust reposed in you by your patients, their families and colleagues.
There are almost too many aggravating features to enumerate in this prolonged, carefully planned, cruel and persistent campaign of abuse. At the top of the list comes the breach of trust. Your colleagues remain guilt ridden at having been unable to detect your offending earlier and having been successfully manipulated by you into ignorance. Your actions have undermined public trust in an already overstretched health service and have caused enormous expense and upheaval in the internal enquiries that inevitably followed your suspension from practice.
All this almost pales into insignificance set against the trauma, fear and distress you have caused to your victims and their families – considerable psychological harm, I have no doubt – which I suspect will linger with them for the rest of their lives. It is implicit in what you did for your own sexual gratification that you were targeting the most vulnerable - sick children and what you did required careful and significant planning.
You bought a camera pen so you could record things without your victims realising and when the balloon went up you disposed of the hard drive of your lap top, onto which, I infer, many images had been recorded. Nobody will ever know the precise extent of your activities, thus increasing the agony of those you pretended to treat and their families particularly of deceased children in not knowing whether they too had been abused in this way.
As I have said for a Doctor to attack gravely ill children in this way is one of the most serious forms of sexual offending imaginable even if it does not involve physical violence which goes beyond the abuse itself or penetrative activity.
As a result of this combination of factors whilst I have paid careful regard to the guidelines in considering an appropriate sentence, in my judgement, the category ranges of sentences therein set out do not adequately reflect your culpability. Bearing in mind, as I do that the range set out is relevant to a single offence – not a course of conduct, where many of the counts on the indictment are specimen counts.
I bear in mind that the maximum sentence I could pass for any of the offences to which you have pleaded guilty is one of 14 years imprisonment and even if I thought it appropriate to do so I would be unable, as a matter of law to pass a sentence of life imprisonment. In arriving at the sentence I have, I have first of all considered what the totality of your offending would have merited in a contested trial and then discounted that total by 33%.
In respect of each of the offences contrary to Ss7, 9 and 10, I have made sentences concurrent but of a length to reflect your overall culpability in respect of each type of offence. Considering as I do that your downloading of indecent images began before escalating into your campaign of abuse I will pass a short determinate sentence first in respect of those images concurrently with a sentence for voyeurism to which I shall add 3 consecutive sentences.
I have considered long and hard whether extended sentences should be passed in your case. Miss Rafferty submits that the legal test for “dangerousness” is not passed because, in effect whilst there is obviously a risk of your committing specified offences in the future towards boys in the 8-16 year old age range, this would not cause the serious harm which I must be satisfied would be caused by such future offending before I could conclude you were dangerous within the meaning of the Act.
She bases those assertions on the physical nature of the offences you have committed hitherto. However, as Dr Smith observes in his report you meet the diagnosis of paedophilia, and that there had been a long trajectory from private masturbatory fantasy to viewing indecent material and ultimately progressing to contact sexual offending which you yourself admitted to him was escalating.
Nor do I accept that penetration and violence is a necessary ingredient before serious harm could be perceived as a risk. I have no doubt you have caused serious psychological harm to your victims and are at risk of doing so, in the future. Having said that I accept you are a man who recognises your own deviancy and have some insight into this and thus are capable of responding positively not only to punishment but to the lowering of risk.
Whilst therefore, I find you dangerous, the period of licence available on the length of the determinate sentence which I propose to impose will be sufficient to protect the public with the close monitoring that will take place together with the SOPO I propose to impose upon you.
Counts 26 and 27: 12 months imprisonment concurrent Count 25: 6 months concurrent
Counts 1, 12 & 14: 7 years imprisonment – concurrent on each count but consecutive to the sentence passed on counts 26 and 27
Counts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 15, 16, 18, 19 & 20: 7 years imprisonment concurrent on each count but consecutive to the earlier expressed sentences
Counts 8, 13, 17, 21, 22, 23 & 24: 7 years imprisonment concurrent on each count but consecutive to the earlier expressed sentences.
I have considered the principles of totality and this makes a total sentence of 22 years.
You will be released after service of ½ of that sentence and then be released on licence.
You can be recalled at any time during the licence period should you break any of its conditions.
Registration as a sex offender SOPO
Forfeiture and Destruction of items seized.
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