Doctor jailed for child porn in UK worked in NZ hospitals

  • 21/07/2017
Dr Jonathan Walsh, jailed for child porn, worked in New Zealand hospitals
Photo credit: Devon and Cornwall Police

A paediatrician jailed in England for making and distributing child sex abuse material worked in three hospitals in New Zealand, it has been confirmed.

Jonathan Walsh, 47, a father-of-two, was jailed for three years in March after pleading guilty to seven counts of making indecent photographs of a child and 10 counts of distribution.

His Devon home was earlier raided by police, where they found 26 movies showing the most serious abuse against children, the BBC reported at the time.

Walsh worked at Southland Hospital in 1996 and 1997, Dunedin Hospital in 1997 and 1998 and Palmerston North Hospital in 2011 and 2012.

The chairman of the Medical Council of New Zealand, Andrew Connolly, says there had been no evidence to suggest Walsh harmed any children during his stints here.

"We found out [about Walsh's offending] when he was arrested in 2016, and UK police wanted to make enquiries and asked if we had any concerns here," he told RNZ.

"We contacted the relevant DHBs and were assured that there were no complaints."

Dr Connolly defended the fact Walsh's offending had been known to them, and Ministry of Health officials, for over a year.

"Going to the public would have introduced a lot of anxiety, it was before the courts and there was was nothing to suggest anything he did occurred in the workplace in New Zealand."

Dr Connolly said Walsh would be removed from the New Zealand doctors' registry after his "utterly reprehensible" actions and he urged anyone who had concerns about treatment by Walsh to contact police.

New Zealand Police have been approached for comment.

NZN