August 2010

Anaesthetist struck off for downloading child abuse images

A former anaesthetist who has struggled to get a job after he was convicted of downloading child pornography more than seven years ago was struck off yesterday.

Dr Andrew Morris, 48, was caught in 2002 as part of a police crackdown on internet child abuse images

Close to 180 photos of “nude young girls” were found at his Exmouth home and he was later sacked from the Royal Devon Hospital in Exeter.

Morris has been subject to a restricted medical licence and has not worked ever since.

The General Medical Council finally kicked Morris out of the profession after ruling his fitness is impaired.

GMC chairman Professor Michael Whitehouse said: “The panel recognises the difficulties he has experienced in finding clinical attachments in the field of anaesthetics or finding work in medical journalism as a result of the nature and seriousness of the findings that have been made against him.

“The panel is concerned that Dr Morris has become de-skilled during the last seven and a half years. It is further concerned about his lack of insight. In reviewing his case, the panel was not assisted by Dr Morris’ absence from this hearing.”

In an email to the GMC on July 12 this year, the doctor wrote: “I think the time has come for me to be realistic and accept my situation as regards clinical medicine.

“The combination of seven and a half years away from clinical work, my background and the GMC process is too much to overcome.”

In March 2003, Morris pleaded guilty to inciting distribution of child pornography and confessed to eight sample charges of possessing indecent images of children. He was given a three-year community rehabilitation order and sign the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

The married father-of-one of South Bridge, Edinburgh, was yesterday struck off and referred to the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which could ban him from working with children or vulnerable adults.