Doctor admits possessing vile child abuse images

Dr Michael Kennedy in 2012
Dr Michael Kennedy in 2012

A former family doctor is facing a lengthy spell behind bars after admitting possessing hundreds of thousands of vile child abuse images.

Michael Kennedy (52) of St Pegas Road, Peakirk admitted possessing 848,131 indecent images during a hearing at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Kennedy, a former doctor and senior partner at the Millfield Medical Centre, pleaded guilty to seven counts in total during the court hearing.

Along with the ‘colossal’ amount of indecent images of children, he also pleaded guilty to possessing ‘extreme pornography,’ including images of animals and even corpses.

The images were all stored on a number of devices by the married man.

The images do not relate to any patients or anyone connected to the surgery.

He was arrested after police received information from an internet provider that internet at an address in Peakirk, near Peterborough, was being used to download indecent images of children.

A warrant was carried out Dr Kennedy’s home address where he made admissions to possessing the images, as suspected. He was arrested and a number of electronic devices were seized.

In total, more than 80 electronic devices have been examined which uncovered more than 800,000 indecent images.

Following his arrest he was suspended from practising by the General Medical Council (GMC).

Kennedy was supported by family and friends during the hearing, who sat in the public gallery.

Anthea Harris, prosecuting, told the court: “There are 2002 images at category A, 6737 at category B and 839,349 at category C.

“Category A is the most serious category on the scale.

“The crown say the starting point for offences of this type is one year in custody, but his is aggravated by the collosal number of images, and further aggravated by the extreme pornography, and the lengthy time of the offences - they were over a 10 year period.

“We say this case is so serious it should be dealt with at crown court who have greater sentencing powers.”

Simon Milburn, defending, agreed, and said the case was suitable for crown court.

A spokesman for Millfield Medical Centre, based on St Martins Street, said Kennedy had not been to the centre since March.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG and NHS England said: “Dr Michael Kennedy, formerly of Millfield Medical Centre in Peterborough, has been charged with a number of offences relating to indecent images of children.

“He has been suspended from practising at this time, although we would like to make it clear that the offences do not relate to the surgery.”

Kennedy pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, between December 12, 2006 and March 18, 2016, one count of possessing prohibited images of a child, and three counts of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Detective Sergeant James Weston, from the Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT), said: “While there was no evidence of any contact offending, nor first-generation images; ones which Dr Kennedy had taken himself, or offending against any of his patients, it is clear from what was uncovered that Dr Kennedy has an unhealthy interest in indecent images of children and extreme pornography.”

Kennedy was given bail to appear at Peterborough Crown Court on a date to be confirmed for sentencing.

His bail conditions ban him from having unsupervised contact or working or volunteering with children aged under 16, and from visiting the Millfield Medical Centre.

A helpline has been set up by the NSPCC, call 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk, anyone with concerns should contact the NSPCC helpline in the first instance. Where appropriate, reports will be referred to police who will investigate