Swanley: GP struck Off For Sex Assaults

A family doctor from Tunbridge Wells, who sexually assaulted patients and took intimate pictures at his GP practice has been struck off the medical register five months after being jailed.

Barend Delport, 55, took more than 800 photographs of female patients over a 10-year period at his surgery in Swanley.

He used the images for his own sexual kicks and made up spurious claims of medical justification, Maidstone Crown Court heard last September.

Delport was not present or legally represented at a hearing last week of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) in Manchester.

The fitness to practise hearing panel said Delport "demonstrated a gross failure in the standards which are expected of a doctor'' and seriously damaged the profession's reputation.

In reaching its conclusion to strike him from the medical register, the MPTS panel said: "Sexual misconduct seriously undermines public trust in the medical profession.

"In this case Dr Delport's conviction of a number of offences, including sexual assault and the making and possessing of indecent photographs of children, is particularly serious.

"In view of this, the panel considers that a period of suspension is neither sufficient nor proportionate.

"The panel is of the view that his conviction is so serious as to be fundamentally incompatible with his continuing registration as a medical practitioner.

"For these reasons, the panel has determined that erasure is the only proportionate sanction to protect patients and maintain public confidence in the profession.''

Delport told his victims, who ranged in age from 18 months to a woman in her 60s, that he was photographing them for training purposes or to show medical students.

At his sentencing hearing, the court heard he claimed to be a dermatologist when taking intimate pictures of a child suffering from a skin complaint.

And he referred to another child as "his little girlfriend'' and intimately photographed a woman who had gone to him with a stomach complaint.

He was arrested by Kent Police after the mother of a girl made a complaint to officers following a visit to the surgery.

At the time of his arrest, Delport, of Summervale Road, Tunbridge Wells, was found to have more than 5,500 pornographic images on his computer.

He admitted 26 offences, including four indecent assaults on adults and three indecent assaults on children.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing indecent images of children, five of making indecent images of children and 12 of taking indecent images of children.

Delport admitted two further indecent assaults after another victim came forward following his last court hearing, and asked for them to be taken into consideration.

Michael Haynes, defending Delport, said that since his arrest Delport had sought treatment for his "addiction to pornography''.

Jailing him, Judge Philip Statman said it was difficult to imagine "a graver breach of trust than had occurred in this case''.

Delport was told he must sign the sex offenders' register indefinitely and he was also made the subject of a sex offenders prevention order.

Unless Delport appeals, his name will be removed from the medical register within a month of the decision being served upon him, the panel said.

It is not within the jurisdiction of the MPTS to automatically strike off a doctor from the medical register upon conviction in a criminal court, and a full hearing has to take place.