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Northern Ireland doctor with almost 3,000 child sex abuse images spared jail

By Michael Donnelly

Published 17/11/2016

Anaesthetist Piotr Dziurdzik leaves Antrim Crown Court after pleading guilty to having indecent images of children.
Anaesthetist Piotr Dziurdzik leaves Antrim Crown Court after pleading guilty to having indecent images of children.

A former doctor who had nearly 3,000 images of child sex abuse has been freed on a nine-month suspended jail term.

A judge said she was "satisfied" the offending of Polish anaesthetist Piotr Dziurdzik "did not require an immediate custodial sentence".

Speaking directly to Dziurdzik (47), Judge Sandra Crawford added: "This finely balanced decision is based on your genuine remorse and the significant steps that have been taken to address your offending.

"Reports submitted to the court suggest you are not a dangerous offender and have been presented at low risk of re-offending."

Dziurdzik is already suspended by the General Medical Council but is expected to be struck off.

He now hopes to return to his native Poland.

However, there is no chance of the anaesthetist setting up practice there as his lawyer has already acknowledged.

Barrister Francis Rafferty revealed last week that there were "no circumstances in which he will be able to practise medicine again and quite rightly expects to be barred from practice... there will be for some time, if not forever, a very watchful eye on Dr Dziurdzik".

The once respected doctor pleaded guilty to a total of 33 offences, including 27 of making indecent photographs of children, committed between 2012 and 2015.

Among the indecent images were over 200 in the most serious categories four and five.

Piotr Dziurdzik appears at Antrim Court
Piotr Dziurdzik appears at Antrim Court

In addition to his concurrent sentences of nine months on each count, suspended for two years, Dziurdzik was also made subject of a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

The court had previously heard that when confronted by police Dziurdzik admitted: "Yes, true."

He also explained: "It happened on occasion I was watching adult sites, there was links to sites we're talking about.

"It's not my area of interest".

The vast majority of the images were of girls, although there were a number showing small boys, and the age range of the children was substantially between eight and 12, although some were as young as five or six.

Mr Rafferty said Dziurdzik's behaviour was both "disgraceful and appalling".

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