Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Radiographer struck off over child porn

A hospital worker who downloaded pornographic images of babies was struck off today.

Altnagelvin radiographer Ivor Gilfillan, 52, had been convicted of downloading and distributing 26,451 images of children- including sadism and bestiality - from his home in Limavady, Co Londonderry.

He failed to appear at a hearing of the Health Professional Council (HPC) in Belfast today but was accused of damaging the name of his profession.

Barrister for the health authorities Elizabeth Taheri said: "Clearly these images are, as the judge (Desmond Marrinan QC) said, universally repugnant and offensive."

Gilfillan, who confessed all after police raided his Burnally Road home in February 2008, was handed an 18-month sentence at Londonderry Crown Court last October but has since been released on probation. The married father was also placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

Ms Taheri added he had a duty to uphold standards of personal conduct, integrity and ensure his behaviour didn't damage his profession's reputation, duties which had been flagrantly breached.

"It is the Council's position that clearly the negative impact of this conduct and these convictions subsist, not least because Mr Gilfillan remains subject to various of the criminal sentences passed since 2008," she added.

The shamed worker began using the internet for "interest groups" of people who also suffered from his bed-wetting problem, which left him wearing an adult nappy.

His websurfing developed into a sick preoccupation with children and babies. He began communicating with like-minded individuals on the internet and admitted saving and distributing images of young children and soliciting them from others.

These were later found to include depictions of sadism and bestiality.

Ms Tahiri said: "The faces of the children, sometimes of little children, were real faces."

When police raided Gilfillan's home on February 27 he said he had lost everything and threatened to harm himself.

"What have I done?" he asked officers.

Gilfillan admitted 50 sample counts of downloading and distributing the images.

The judge said he had played a vital part in the "vile enterprise" associated with child pornography, even though he had not actually produced the material.

Gilfillan, now retired, told lawyers in advance that he would not be attending.

HPC committee head Alexander Yule said: "The panel views this case extremely seriously. Given the seriousness of the case and the need to maintain public confidence in the HPC regulatory process, the Council finds that taking no further action isn't appropriate or proportionate sanction in this case.

"The only appropriate sanction in a case of this gravity is a striking off."

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