Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee medic Michael Boylan jailed over child abuse images

Michael Boylan Image copyright Alan Richardson
Image caption Boylan worked for the University of Dundee at Ninewells Hospital

A medical researcher has been jailed for two years for possessing images of children being sexually abused.

Dr Michael Boylan, 45, was found to have 1,275 images, some of them on his work computer at Dundee's Ninewells Hospital.

Almost 300 pictures were said to be of the most extreme kind and included sadism and bestiality.

The University of Dundee, Boylan's employer, said it was now "reviewing" its IT systems and security.

Fiscal depute Vicky Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court that Boylan was suspended from his position at the university's medical school after his arrest in March 2014.

She said: "In March (last) year intelligence was received that a device connected to the internet within the accused's office contained indecent images of children.

"The office was secured by a four digit pin code and could only be accessed by others under the accused's supervision as it had specialist equipment within. Two computers were seized at his office, while a further search at his home saw a laptop seized.

"The first computer in his office contained 315 indecent images of children. The second contained 67 indecent images on one hard drive, as well as search terms such as 'pre teen models' and 'top 100 pre teen'. A second hard drive contained 442 indecent images and two still videos.

"The laptop taken from his home contained 451 indecent images."

Downloaded images

Boylan, of Newport-on-Tay, Fife, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of downloading indecent images at his office and his home between 26 August, 2007 and 8 April, 2013.

Solicitor advocate Jim Laverty, defending, said: "The computers belong to his employer."

Mr Laverty asked for the imposition of an "intensive" community payback order with "significant levels of supervision" as an alternative to custody.

But Sheriff Tom Hughes jailed Boylan for two years and placed him on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

The University of Dundee said it would seek to tighten its procedures in the light of what happened.

A spokesman said: "The university has co-operated fully with police in the course of their investigations and we will be reviewing our IT security and systems to ensure incidents of this nature cannot happen again."

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