A doctor downloaded more than 1,000 indecent images of children as young as two years old on his laptop, a tribunal heard.
Dr David Walker has now been struck off the medical register after he was sentenced to 100 hours of volunteering and 60 hours of rehabilitation.
He had qualified from King’s College London and was due to start his foundation year as a doctor in training when police found over 1,000 pictures of children on his laptop.
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The Medical Practitioners Tribunal determined on January 6 that Dr Walker’s fitness to practise had been impaired following a criminal conviction in April 2021, and he was immediately struck off.
(Image: Tom Haynes)
On April 30, 2020, months before Dr Walker was due to start his foundation year, police were called to his house after his IP address was linked to suspicious internet activity.
Dr Walker initially told police his computer had been hacked.
He was cautioned by police and arrested, while his phone and laptop were seized.
The doctor later admitted to accessing indecent images of children using Snapchat and Dropbox but maintained he did not download any images of a sexual nature.
He also said he did not access the images for sexual gratification and had no sexual attraction towards children.
Analysis of Dr Walker’s devices found 154 ‘Category A’ sexual images – these are the most severe and obscene.
Police also found over 1,000 images of children in Categories B and C, defined as “images involving non-penetrative sexual activity”, or “other indecent images”.
The children in the images ranged from two or three years old to 13 to 14 years old.
(Image: Tom Haynes)
Police interviewed Dr Walker a second time in February 2021, where he accepted responsibility for possessing the images.
On July 7, 2021, following his conviction, Dr Walker appeared in Southwark Magistrates Court, where he was sentenced to a 24-month Community Order to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and a requirement to attend 60 hours of rehabilitation.
Dr Walker did not attend tribunal proceedings, and a decision was reached in his absence that he would be erased from the medical register, as he had “committed offences that would be viewed as extremely serious by members of the public.”
In their decision on Dr Walker’s impairment, the tribunal added: “The offences themselves involved the possession of illegal images of children that represented the most serious possible abuse of those children by others.
“As the sentencing, Judge pointed out, his actions in obtaining and viewing such material, helped to fuel the demand that caused people to carry out such sexual abuse and create the sort of images involved.”
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According to tribunal documents, Dr Walker “had been open and honest” with his partner and family about his offences and they were supporting him in rehabilitation.
The judge made a five-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order in relation to doctor walker, telling the court: “Although you have already taken positive steps and made progress towards rehabilitation, as the presentence report makes clear, there is still work to be done.”
In the absence of any evidence Dr Walker had “reflected or remediated in any way the effect his offending would have had on public confidence in the medical profession,” or that “there was not a significant risk of repetition”, the Tribunal decided to remove him from the medical register to protect the public.
The tribunal added: “A reasonable and properly informed member of the public would be shocked if told that a doctor convicted of offences such as these, involving children, was allowed to practise unrestricted.”
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