21 Jul 2017

UK doctor jailed for child abuse images worked in NZ

11:58 am on 21 July 2017

A UK paediatrician who has worked in New Zealand has been jailed for child pornography offences.

UK police said Jonathan Walsh has been sentenced to three years in prison for possessing, distributing and making indecent images of children.

Jonathan Walsh

Jonathan Walsh Photo: Supplied / Devon and Cornwall police

They said Walsh pleaded guilty to 17 charges and that the vast majority of the images were the "most serious" of their type.

The Medical Council said at various times between 1996 and 2011 he worked at Southland Hospital, Dunedin Hospital and Palmerston North Hospital.

It said there was no evidence to suggest Walsh harmed any child in his care while he was working in New Zealand.

The council's chairman, Andrew Connolly, said they were contacted by the UK police in 2016 after Walsh's arrest, and looked back at records but found no complaints against him.

They also informed the Ministry of Health and the minister's office and liaised with New Zealand police.

He said they did not go public with the information earlier as they believed it would cause anxiety.

The police in the UK also had no evidence that any of his offending occurred in the workplace, Mr Connolly said.

"If anyone does have concerns we do want them to come forward because that could, of course, lead to ... criminal charges here."

Walsh worked from December 1996 to December 1997 as a paediatric registrar at Southland Hospital.

From December 1997 to December 1998 he was a registrar at Dunedin Hospital, then he left New Zealand.

He returned in August 2011 for a year, working at Palmerston North Hospital as a provisional specialist, and for the last five months as a full registered specialist.

The Medical Council said he was still on the register in New Zealand, but it was moving to strike him off.