DCSIMG

Doctor caught with child porn can keep his job

Prince Charles taking to Dr Dana Faratian at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

Prince Charles taking to Dr Dana Faratian at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

  • by LYNDSAY BUCKLAND
 

A LEADING cancer researcher who looked at images of child sex abuse on a Romanian website will not be permanently removed from the medical ­register.

Dr Dana Faratian was sacked from his prestigious research post at the University of Edinburgh after being arrested by police in December 2011.

Yesterday, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) decided not to strike him off the medical register, but gave him a 12-month suspension after finding his fitness to practise had been impaired because of his conviction.

Acting on intelligence that Faratian had been accessing a website notorious for posting illegal material, officers raided his flat in Edinburgh’s Newington and seized his laptop.

Forensic analysis of Faratian’s computer found 151 pictures of girls between the ages of six and 14, ranging from images classed as level one to the most serious, level five.

The father of two was ordered to complete a community payback order, with supervision for three years, and was placed on the sex offenders’ register after pleading guilty to a single charge of possessing indecent images of children at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in August 2012.

He referred himself to the General Medical Council (GMC) after he was arrested and he has been temporarily suspended from its register since July 2012.

Faratian told the hearing in Manchester that he had watched around 2,000 hours of porn over the past 20 years before he viewed the images of children which led to his arrest. He said his porn habit spiralled out of control after his grandmother and father died and his wife and children moved to Leeds at the start of 2011.

He admitted accessing a ­Romanian-based website, notorious for displaying graphic child abuse images, on five ­occasions between October and December 2011.

“I am not mitigating anything I have done, but in the run-up to viewing the abusive images of children, that was during a time where a lot of things had happened and I felt pretty appalling,” Faratian told the hearing.

He described a “morbid self-loathing” that led him to go back to the site and referred to the most extreme images as “frankly disgusting” and “quite simply horrible”.

The medic broke down as he recalled the “life-shattering” ­effect his actions had on his family, not least his six-year-old daughter and two-year-old son who he has not seen in more than two years.

Now with a new partner, Faratian claimed he had not accessed any pornography since his ­arrest and vowed to never look at “dirty pictures” again.

The MPTS panel, chaired by Richard Davies, found his fitness to practise was impaired because of his conviction but decided not to strike him off.

Mr Davies said the panel considered his offence to have been “deplorable and repugnant” and would normally result in erasure from the medical register.

He said: “However, the panel considered your case to be quite exceptional. Your actions resulted in what was little short of a personal catastrophe for you.

“You decided that to demonstrate your shame about your actions, you would make a public and candid explanation.

“You have not hidden from the consequences.”

 
 
 

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