Tag: child sex abuse compensation

Paediatrician Jailed over Child Sex Abuse Images

A North Devon paediatrician has been jailed for the distribution of films and images containing the most severe child sex abuse.

Police raid in 2015

47 year old Dr Jonathon Walsh was arrested in 2015 after police raided his home. Officers from the child exploitation unit seized his computer and a memory stick during the search. No child sex abuse images were found at the time, however there was significant evidence that he had been accessing child sex abuse material, as well using file wiping software.

Child sex abuse images

Walsh, a respected consultant paediatrician in the children’s and adolescent services department of the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, was sacked from his job after admitting 17 charges relating to child sex abuse images. The charges included nine counts of distributing indecent images of children, as well as six counts of making them.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Walsh told his solicitors he downloaded the content because he was ‘bored’ with his job.

The court also heard how none of the material related to patients at the North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. However, the vast majority of the footage related to ‘Category A’ images – the most serious of its kind – and some videos were several hours long.

Sentencing

Judge Geoffrey Mercer told him:

“Over a period of at least some months, the precise period is unclear, 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. You are 47 years old and a man of good character and I have read a number of references provided by people on your behalf who speak very highly of you.

“You have practised as a paediatrician for a number of years. To state that your sexual interest in children, which outlines these offences, causes real concern in relation to someone in your position is a massive understatement. But it needs to be clearly understood that there was no offending in the context of your work and these offences were non contact offences.

“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.”

Walsh was sentenced to three years for each of the distributing offences. He was sentenced to a further 12 months for downloading offences. All sentences will run concurrently.

NSPCC response

An NSPCC spokesman said:

“Although it has been acknowledged that none of the images related to patients at the hospital, Walsh was working in a position of significant responsibility and trust when he comitted these crimes. Behind every image of online child abuse is a child who has suffered a horrific ordeal in the real world. It’s clear from Walsh’s extensive library that his only care was his own twisted gratification and it is right that he now faces the consequences of his actions.”

Response from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

George Thomson, medical director for Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, added:

“This case has deeply shaken everybody at NDHT and we know it has been a shock to the community. We have worked closely with the police throughout this case and we know that none of these crimes relate to contact offences, and none of the images relate to patients at North Devon District Hospital.

“At the launch of the police investigation in September 2015 we took immediate action to exclude Dr Walsh from working at the Trust and informed the General Medical Council. Dr Walsh was dismissed with immediate effect when he was charged in June.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

If you have been affected by any instance of physical sexual abuse or non-physical sexual abuse, contact us today. We offer expert advice on sexual abuse and assault claims, and we guarantee your confidentiality at all times.

For further information, and to discover how we could help you, begin a conversation with our experienced and friendly team. Call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hampsonhughes.com.

Source: devonlive.com

85% of Child Sex Abuse Unreported According to New Data

From April 2012 to March 2014, around 50,000 cases of child sex abuse were reported to the police. However, a recent study by the Children’s Commissioner for England suggests that the number of children abused in that period is actually around 450,000.

Key Findings

Key findings of the study were as follows:

• 75% of child sex abuse victims were female
• Two thirds of child sex abuse took place within or close to the family environment
• The age at which child sexual abuse is most likely to occur is just 9 years
• Not recognising what has happened to them, a large number of victims do not speak out about their abuse until their teenage years or later
• Even once a child has confided in someone, it is unlikely that the abuse will stop

In recent years there has been a major focus on child sex abuse occurring within institutions or by groups of offenders. However, the report has highlighted the fact that the majority of abuse takes place within families or trusted circles. Children’s commissioner Anne Longfield said:

“We must now wake up to and urgently address the most common form of child sexual abuse – that which takes place behind the front door within families or their trusted circles.

“The children’s commissioner has called for urgent action from government and more training to help teachers, social services, police and other professionals identify abuse early on.

“There are always signs. Children can become withdrawn or show overly sexualised behaviour. If you know the child it will be obvious to see changes in their behaviour.”

Most Detailed Analysis Yet

The Children’s Commissioner’s report scrutinised information from a variety of sources, including surveys from over 750 survivors of child abuse, as well as police and local councils. The study also examined a recent study of child mistreatment that found 11.3% of young adults (18-24) had suffered sexual abuse as a child.

The report is said to be the most detailed analysis of child sex abuse in England to date.

Simon Bailey, Norfolk Chief Constable, is responsible for police child protection and abuse investigations throughout the country. He said of the report:

“The numbers are staggering [but] I’m not that surprised.

“I’ve regularly talked about the level of child abuse reported to police as being the tip of the iceberg.”

Chief Constable Bailey also went on to admit that although police had made significant improvements in dealing with child abuse reports, there was still work to do.

“Jimmy Savile in 2012 was a watershed moment, for the police service in particular. This now has to be a watershed moment for all agencies involved in child protection.

“We have to fundamentally rethink how we go about stopping abuse of this nature happening on the horrific scale the commission has identified.”

Call for Government to Take Action

The report has called for a number of serious actions to be taken by government to prevent child abuse, including:

• To train teachers to identify any signs or symptoms of abuse, along with actions to be taken afterwards
• Compulsory lessons for children from the age of five, to be taught about healthy and safe relationships
• To teach children to speak to an appropriate adult if they have any concerns relating to abuse
• Increasing the responsibilities of those individuals working with children
• To offer support to children from the moment they disclose abuse
• To have an appropriate intermediary such as a child psychologist to be present during evidence interviews with children
• To ensure that all police forces make a record of all child sexual abuse related offences

The recommendations laid out in the report would be ‘carefully considered’, the Department for Education has said.

“[This government] set up the first ever cross-government child protection taskforce to overhaul the way police, schools, social services and others work together in tackling this abhorrent crime.

“We have also invested an extra £100m to support vulnerable children and we are providing £7m for services supporting child abuse survivors.”

The burden of disclosing abuse must be not be something that children should have to endure, according to Roy Perry of the Local Government Association. However, he has stressed that ‘councils cannot do this alone. We need support from a million eyes and ears amongst the public.’

Children’s Commissioners in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales stated that they had no equivalent figures on child abuse.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

Source: BBC News