Child porn surgeon gets community service

Douglas Harris A jury took just over an hour to find Harris guilty

Related Stories

A trainee surgeon convicted of child pornography charges has been spared a prison sentence.

Douglas Harris, who worked at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, denied downloading 243 pictures from paedophile sites.

But a jury took about an hour to find the 29-year-old guilty after a trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last month.

He was ordered to carry out 280 hours of community service and three years of probation, which the sheriff said would be more effective than a jail term.

Harris will also be on the sex offenders register for the same period.

During his trial, the court heard the trainee orthopaedic surgeon used sophisticated software to scramble file download data.

But police recovered fragments of internet chats from his computer which requested indecent images of young girls.

'Distressing' images

Harris had claimed someone else could have been responsible for downloading the images but he was convicted by a unanimous verdict.

At his sentencing, Sheriff Annella Cowan adjourned the court for 15 minutes after being shown some of the images because she found them "distressing and unpleasant".

She said: "In reaching a view on sentence, I have to put aside subjective reactions to the images found on your computer.

"Any custodial sentence would be relatively short and would not address your behaviour. A community-based sentence will have a greater punishment, deterrence and restorative effect."

Last month, NHS Grampian said it no longer employed Harris.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC North East, Orkney and Shetland



3 °C 1 °C

Features & Analysis

  • A resin model of a sculpture illustrating the WW1 Christmas Truce football matchChristmas truce

    How France has forgotten the WW1 enemies who shook hands

  • Woman thinkingWho? What? Why?

    The questions of 2014, answered succinctly

  • Banda Aceh in 2004 and 2014Then and now

    Images of transformation 10 years on from the Indian Ocean tsunami

  • JACK O'Connell Big break

    Why Jack O'Connell is the talk of Hollywood

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Barn collectionFind of the century

    BBC Autos takes a look at the rusting car collection worth millions - discovered in a French barn


  • (File photo) A mother polar bear and two cubssThe Travel Show Watch

    From polar bear watching to crocodile conservation - highlights from 2014

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.