Peterborough doctor '˜threw computers in the river' to hide vile child abuse images

A Peterborough GP who has been jailed for downloading hundreds of thousands of child abuse images threw computers in the river to hide his offending.

Friday, 11th November 2016, 4:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:15 pm
Dr Kennedy

Michael Kennedy was locked up for two years and eight months at Cambridge Crown Court after admitting a string of offences.

The court heard graphic details of some of the videos and images - which are too distressing to report.

After being arrested the doctor admitted being sexually attracted to schoolgirls and said he was particularly aroused by girls aged between 12 and 16, but the images found showed an interest in younger girls.

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The court heard Kennedy would download the vile images through various paedophile groups online every week and admitted briefly using the Darkweb.

The former GP claimed that he knew what he was doing was wrong and would intermittently delete or throw the computers in rivers.

Sentencing, Judge David Farrell QC said patients and their families would be appalled by the doctor’s behaviour.

He said: “People are going to hear that their GP was interested in viewing the most appalling images of children being abused.

“Parents who had taken their children to be examined have now got to live with the thought that their children were being examined by a man who had this type of appalling behaviour.

“So that must be a very significant aggravating factor.”

He added: “What is clear to me is that despite what you have said (about being interested in older girls) you clearly get some sexual gratification, perverted sexual gratification, by looking at this type of child abuse.”

He also said that the offences were aggravated by the fact that they had occurred over a 10 year period and Kennedy’s job as a GP.

He said: “I take the view that your job as a GP, a doctor, throughout the period is a significant aggravating factor.

“As a GP thoughtout this period you would have been examining patients including child patients.

“I do not accept the submission that this factor is not aggravating. You, as a GP, are in a position of trust and respect of your patients.

“There is an expectation that doctors in particular will behave in a particular way.”

Kennedy was interviewed by police on March 17 when he admitted downloading the images over a 10 year period.

Defending Sarah Przybylska said her client was “appalled” by his behaviour and had tried to address it since his arrest by seeking professional help.

She added he had not taken any of the images himself and not abused his position as a GP which would be an aggravating factor. This was rejected by the judge.

Kennedy was supported by his wife from the public gallery when he was sentenced. Kennedy, wearing a dark suit and a blue shirt and tie, kissed his wife and daughter before being put in the dock.

Speaking after the sentencing, DCI Neil Sloan said the team of detectives who brought Kennedy to justice had examined every image found on the former doctor’s computer.

He said: “This was the biggest investigation of its type in Cambridgeshire. It started in March when we executed a search warrant at his home, and found a number of devices.

“There were 7.4 million images on the devices - some family photos, books, legal pornography - but we also found some 850,000 indecent images and extreme pornography.

“Each of these images is an image of child abuse, such as a child as young as six being raped.

“We have to look at every image, and each one is graded, It is not a case of looking at a few and stopping.

“We have a dedicated team looking at this. They are experienced detectives from a variety of backgrounds, who are targeting those, like Kennedy, who look at these vile images.

“This type of offending is a priority for Cambridgeshire police. The team is targeteing those who commit the offences, and we will do all we can to bring them to justice.”

DCI Sloan said along with examining the images to grade how serious each photo and video was, they had to be sure none of the images related to his work.

He said: “We have to be sure there was no contact offending. In this case there was not, and all the images were found at his home address.

“If patients are concerned by his offending, then they should contact agencies such as the NSPCC.”