Chil­dren’s doc­tor shared child porn ‘ be­cause he was tired of his job’

He used mil­i­tary-grade soft­ware in failed at­tempt to cover his tracks

Daily Mail - - News - By Arthur Martin

‘Distributed ex­treme movies’

A SE­NIOR chil­dren’s doc­tor who distributed child porn videos be­cause he was ‘tired of his job’ was jailed for three years yes­ter­day.

Dr Jonathan Walsh, a fa­therof-two, down­loaded at least 27 abuse films from the in­ter­net dur­ing his time off from treat­ing sick chil­dren.

The paediatric con­sul­tant pub­lished 24 of th­ese on a se­cret web­site where pae­dophiles swap graphic im­ages with each other.

The films fea­tured boys and girls aged two to eight and had a to­tal play­ing time of 18 hours.

All but one were classed as Cat­e­gory A im­ages – mean­ing they showed the most serious type of abuse. Walsh, 47, was ar­rested dur­ing a po­lice raid on his home in Septem­ber 2015.

De­tec­tives be­lieve the mar­ried doc­tor may have down­loaded many more child porn films, as they found 300 files had been deleted from his com­puter.

He had used ‘mil­i­tary-grade’ tech­nol­ogy in an at­tempt to wipe the child abuse files from his hard drive.

Walsh worked at North Devon Dis­trict Hospi­tal in Barn­sta­ple, where his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties in­cluded safe­guard­ing chil­dren.

He was sacked af­ter he was charged with 17 of­fences of mak­ing and dis­tribut­ing in­de­cent films of chil­dren, Ex­eter Crown Court heard.

None of the of­fences re­lated to pa­tients at the hospi­tal.

How­ever, the NHS set up a spe­cial hot­line for any­one wor­ried they might have been af­fected by his crimes.

Walsh told his so­lic­i­tor he com­mit­ted the of­fences be­cause he was ‘tired’ of work­ing at the hospi­tal and wanted to quit his job.

Fol­low­ing his ar­rest, he moved from Barn­sta­ple to Lytham St Annes, Lan­cashire. Walsh was ar­rested af­ter po­lice re­ceived elec­tronic in­tel­li­gence link­ing his com­puter with the distribution of the films.

When de­tec­tives trawled through his com­puter mem­ory, they dis­cov­ered he had used a pro­gramme called Cy­berScrub to re­move all traces of the films he had down­loaded.

The mak­ers of Cy­berScrub de­scribe it as a ‘data cleaner that uses US mil­i­tary-grade tech­nol­ogy to se­curely delete’ in­for­ma­tion from a com­puter ‘be­fore the bad guys find it’. How­ever a data re­cov­ery spe­cial­ist helped po­lice find unique dig­i­tal sig­na­tures, known as hash val­ues, on Walsh’s com­puter that were then matched to child abuse movies avail­able on the in­ter­net.

Jail­ing him, Judge Geoffrey Mercer told Walsh: ‘To state that your sex­ual in­ter­est in chil­dren causes real con­cern in re­la­tion to some­one in your po­si­tion is a mas­sive un­der­state­ment.

‘Over a pe­riod of at least some months, you were in­volved in down­load­ing and dis­tribut­ing ex­treme movies and im­ages por­tray­ing sex­ual abuse of chil­dren and you went to con­sid­er­able lengths to try and con­ceal what it was you were do­ing.

‘Your ca­reer is now, of course, at an end. To quote from you from one of your letters you have writ­ten to me, “through my ac­tions I have lost my job, my ca­reer and my rep­u­ta­tion and caused great harm to the ones I love”.’

The judge said Walsh, who pleaded guilty to the of­fences, was a man of pre­vi­ous ‘good char­ac­ter’ whose friends had pro­vided ref­er­ences in which they ‘speak very highly of you’.

De­fence bar­ris­ter Lee Gled­hill said Walsh was full of ‘se­vere re­gret’ for what he had done.

‘He is aware that th­ese are real chil­dren in the videos and of harm he in­di­rectly caused by the re-distribution of th­ese im­ages,’ he added.

‘He was tired of his job and wanted to get out of medicine af­ter many years of train­ing and work­ing.

‘He prac­tised medicine for some con­sid­er­able years and had a pos­i­tive im­pact on the com­mu­nity he lived in. He and his wife are still to­gether but he had to ex­plain this to his own chil­dren.’ Speak­ing af­ter the case, De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Andrea King­don said: ‘Walsh was a prac­tis­ing and re­spected pae­di­a­tri­cian in North Devon when he was com­mit­ting th­ese crimes. He let him­self and his pro­fes­sion down by his ac­tiv­i­ties, which he went to great lengths to hide.

‘The na­ture of the of­fend­ing on the im­ages and videos distributed by Dr Walsh are at the most serious end of the scale, and some of th­ese in­clude movies some hours in length.

‘This is an in­cred­i­bly up­set­ting and chal­leng­ing task for my team to work through.’

An NSPCC spokesman said it was clear Walsh’s only con­cern was ‘his own twisted grat­i­fi­ca­tion’. He added: ‘Be­hind ev­ery im­age of on­line child abuse is a child who has suf­fered a hor­rific or­deal in the real world.’

Jailed: Dr Jonathan Walsh copied at least 27 abuse films

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