Doctor watched porn on work PC after wife stopped him watching it on home computer

Professor Peter Davies admitted looking at pictures of someone having sex with a horse and a dog (Picture: Cavendish)

A doctor could be struck off after he admitted using his hospital computer to watch hardcore pornography.

Professor Peter Davies, 70, an expert in tuberculosis, used his work computer after his wife put filters on his personal PC to stop him watching porn at home. Police were called in after NHS officials checked his machine at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and found he had viewed images of someone having sex with a horse and a dog.

A chief finance officer came across ‘inappropriate browsing activity’ in December 2018 and it was linked to Prof Davies’ computer so he was suspended before being dismissed for gross misconduct. He said that he had looked at the images out of curiosity but admitted he had a problem.

He received a police caution and was reported to the General Medical Council, which is set to take place today and could end his lengthy career in medicine. Prof Davies said that he had been addicted to pornography since he was 18 when he bought magazines as a youngster, and had been getting counselling at a sex addiction clinic.

He told the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service: ‘In a way, throughout my adult life, since teenage years, I have had a problem with it. I used to buy magazines but it wasn’t until the internet came into being there was a possibility of more access.

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‘As a result I would have been accessing porn at home and in 2010 I made a confession to my wife. I’m amazed the NHS trust had no means of finding out earlier in a sense and I’m grateful to that person who did.

‘In fact my wife has been magnificent through all this. It gets easier the more people you talk to but the most difficult person to tell was my wife because I had been deceiving her for some years. She was wonderful.’

During the investigation he admitted ‘compulsively viewing pornography for a number of years’.

When asked if he viewed porn at home, he said: ‘No I do not. My wife is at home. She put a filter on all my computers, I have had this problem from before then. I had some counselling and I stopped for a period of two years.’

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Professor Davies, who is also a lay reader for the Church of England, compared his addiction to that of an alcoholic.

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He said: ‘It has to do with a hormone in the brain which is an explanation to me as how it was over some years I could be so stupid as to look for pornography on a work computer.

‘I have got an Oxford degree, I am a doctor and I would do something like this. But there is an explanation, an understanding of the addiction which is an inherent compulsion to look at pornography and ever-increasingly dangerous images.

‘I think I realise it isn’t something that can be cured but can be avoided by support. I haven’t watched pornography since my police caution.’

He added: ‘For five years I did keep off the internet porn but when I came back to it I realised that I was in really deep trouble – I couldn’t control what I had been looking at.’

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Jennie Ferrario, for the General Medical Council, said: ‘The GMC does recognise Dr Davies has shown insight and took some steps to remedy his conduct. However, this behaviour will not be the subject of any quick fix as the facts in this case demonstrate.

‘He accepts he has been accessing pornography for a number of years – that is not at home that is at work. He had also previously had some counselling and stopped for a number of years and then began to access it again. Doing what he did in work time was far from practising medicine in an open and safe manner.’

Davies’ lawyer Fiona Robertson said: ‘There is no direct risk to patients, he has not had patient contact since retirement and he made admissions to police and GMC investigators. His actions do fall below the standard the public expected of medical staff and on this basis he doesn’t seek to contest that his current fitness to practice medicine is impaired.’

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