Devon

Paediatrician Jonathan Walsh jailed over child sex images

Jonathan Walsh Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Jonathan Walsh had configured settings on his computer's router and installed software to wipe files and hide their use

A paediatrician who used "military-grade" software to cover his tracks has been jailed for three years for having and sharing child sex images.

Dr Jonathan Walsh, 47, a former consultant at North Devon District Hospital, admitted 17 charges of making and distributing indecent images.

Officers raided his house in Barnstaple which he shared with his wife and children, Exeter Crown Court heard.

They found 26 category A movies showing the most serious types of abuse.

More on the paediatrician jailed over child images, and other Devon news

Walsh, who was sacked from North Devon District Hospital, has moved to Lytham St Annes in Lancashire.

The court heard that Walsh had configured settings on his computer's router and installed software to wipe files and hide their use.

"He used CyberScrub, which has been described as military grade, to remove all traces of these downloads," said prosecutor James Davis.

But police found the files after going through his router.

Walsh admitted 10 counts of distributing indecent images of children and seven of making indecent images of children.

Police confirmed none of the images related to patients at the hospital.

Sentencing him, Judge Geoffrey Mercer said Walsh had gone to "considerable lengths" to disguise what he was doing.

"To state that your sexual interest in children, which underlines these offences, causes concern with regard to the position you held is a massive understatement," he said.

He added: "Your career is of course at an end and to quote from one of the letters you have written to me 'through my own actions I have lost my job, my career, my reputation and caused great harm to those around me that I love'."

The judge also put Walsh on the sex offenders register for life, imposed a sexual harm prevention order and ordered the destruction of his computer equipment.

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