Dec 2009

No jail sentence for child porn doctor

A DOCTOR caught throwing a laptop containing indecent images of children out of his bathroom window has avoided a jail term.

Simon Yau, 30, who had pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images, appeared at Southend Crown Court for sentencing.

Yau was arrested in July after police received information he was in possession of indecent child images, the court heard.

Police knocked at his former home in Prittle Close, Thundersley, to speak to him, and after some delay he let them in. He was soon arrested.

Laureen Husain, prosecuting, said: “He was escorted upstairs and went to the bathroom, and the officers heard rustling noises coming from within.

“Police were suspicious about what he was doing and officers went to the rear of the building where they saw the defendant throw a laptop into the garden of the neighbouring house.”

Subsequently, 190 photographs and 50 film clips were found on his laptop and a memory stick, 16 of which were classified as level 5, the most serious.

Yau, who worked as a locum GP across Southend and Castle Point, was suspended by the General Medical Council in August.

The 18-month interim suspension bans him from practising as a doctor in the UK. It will remain in place while the outcome of their investigation is pending.

In mitigation, Maria Dineen said: “When Simon Yau saw police officers at his door he knew immediately everything he had worked so hard to achieve was about to be lost.”

She added, Yau was now on the Adults’ Barred list with the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which means he can no longer work with children or vulnerable adults, and is likely to be struck off.

Yau qualified in 2004 and had worked for a time at Dr Connors and Partners, in Hullbridge. He also worked at a number of other GP practices across south Essex.

A group of Yau’s friends and relatives attended court to support him.

He was sentenced to a 36-month community order, under which he must not commit any further offences and will be subject to supervision by the probation service.

He will also have to undertake the Thames Valley sex offenders programme.

Judge Geoffrey Breen warned Yau that if he failed to keep the terms of the order he would almost certainly be sent to jail.

Yau, now of High Street, Burnham, was also ordered to pay £150 costs.

His laptop and memory stick will be destroyed by the authorities.