Dr Jonathon Ashton was erased from the GMC medical register recently following a fitness to practice hearing at the Medical Practitioner’s Tribunal Service.
The Panel at the MPTS considered an allegation that Dr Ashton’s fitness to practice was impaired by reason of the doctor’s conviction of making 13 indecent photographs of a child and the possession of extreme pornographic images of an act of intercourse/oral sex with an animal.
Dr Ashton was sentenced on 20 March 2012 to a 4 month prison sentence suspended for 24 months, placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 7 years and placed under supervision with the Probation Service for 18 months. He was also made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for 7 years, required to participate in the Internet Sex Offender Programme and has been disqualified from working with children indefinitely.
Dr Ashton informed the panel that he now appreciated the harm that accessing illegal pornography could cause and stated that he had no doubt that his fitness to practice was impaired. The panel were invited to consider his early guilty plea, his previous good character and the speed with which he notified the GMC of his conviction.
The panel found that Dr Ashton’s fitness to practice was impaired and that his conviction and the serious nature of the offence were ‘fundamentally incompatible with his continued practice of medicine’. The panel therefore determined that, bearing in mind the wider public interest and the trust and confidence the public is entitled to place in a member of the medical profession, the only proportionate sanction was erasure.
If you have been made subject to fitness to practice proceedings following a conviction, our fitness to practice specialists can assist you. You can call us now on 0845 00 20736.
By Laura Hannah