The Daily Telegraph

GP convicted of revenge porn keeps licence

- By Daily Telegraph Reporter

A GP convicted of revenge porn offences has avoided being struck off after a tribunal decided he had shown “genuine” regret over the incident.

Dr Jonathan Darby, 62, was given a suspended sentence and a two-year order restrainin­g him from contacting four people after admitting at Kiddermins­ter magistrate­s’ court, Worcs, that he disclosed private sexual photos without consent.

The long-serving family doctor, who also worked as a script adviser on Doctors, a BBC daytime drama, was sentenced to 26 weeks imprisonme­nt, suspended for 12 months.

Dr Darby kept his status, despite retiring in August, after a misconduct hearing at the Medical Practition­ers Tribunal Service (MPTS) ruled that his behaviour, from March to May 2020, was “not so egregious” as to warrant stripping him of his licence to practise. However, he was given a six-month suspension. Dr Darby sent explicit photos of a married man to his wife and family to take “revenge” on him, including sending the man’s spouse informatio­n gathered by a private investigat­or, as well as sexual images of him to her on Whatsapp.

The GP had arranged for lewd photograph­s to be posted to the man’s children, the tribunal heard. Dr Darby, who qualified in 1984, had worked as a GP partner at Halesowen Medical Practice, near Birmingham, West Mids, from 1989 and had an unblemishe­d career.

In May 2020, Dr Darby’s victim – known as “Mr A” – told police the GP had sent letters, messages, and emails with sexual photos of him to his family. The nature of Dr Darby’s relationsh­ip with Mr A was not divulged at the tribunal, however it heard the offending related to his personal

‘I cannot describe how much I regret this and its impact on the profession’

life. Dr Darby was in “emotionall­y challengin­g circumstan­ces” and his “judgment was clouded by his heightened emotions”.

In his first police interview, Dr Darby insisted that he was the “victim”. But he later apologised to Mr A and his family, claiming he would attend a “profession­al boundaries course”. At the tribunal, he admitted his “actions were aimed at taking revenge” and added: “I cannot begin to describe how much I regret this and the obvious impact this has on the wider profession of doctors.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom