Local surgeon jailed for child porn offences

Four months for 'talented' doctor in tragic case

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Simon Swift, a local surgeon, who lives on the Chiswick/Hammersmith borders, has been jailed for four months for a series of offences relating to the downloading of child pornography from the internet.

Swift, who was a heart surgeon at Harefield and Brompton Hospital pleaded guilty to 24 charges of 'making' indecent images of children at London�s Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.

The court heard how he had got into the habit of surfing for child porn when he was on-call at a private Harley Street hospital. His activities were detected by a specialist crime unit who called at his riverside home at Lord Napier Place to arrest him. On arrival they learnt that he was attending a conference in Dublin but they arrested him later that day, confiscating his lap top. In all 77 paedophile pictures and 16 movies were found on the lap top and his home PC. He had been using his wife's internet account to access the material.

The Press Association reports Judge William Rose saying on giving the verdict, 'There is no doubt this is a tragedy ... that affects not only yourself but your wife, who is wholly innocent in this matter.

�A message must go out that people who use material of this nature and keep it will go to prison,� the judge added.

In Swift's defence QC Sonia Woodley said her 'talented' client was now 'horrified' by his behaviour. She said when on call he often had nothing to do when on-call and had become depressed due to an unfriendly work environment.

October 3, 2004