Martin Coomber – Basingstoke

January 2018

Paramedic struck off for owning child abuse images despite avoiding jail

A PARAMEDIC who avoided jail for owning indecent images of children has been struck off.

Martin Philip Coomber, 47, of Cliddesden Road, was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for two years, in May 2017 for possessing more than 1,000 indecent images, some of which fell into the most extreme category.

Now, after a hearing of the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) on December 21, Coomber has been struck off as a paramedic.

Coomber did not appear before the panel after having already indicated at an earlier date that he was aware that he was likely to be struck off and “that he wished to leave his profession as quickly and as easily as possible in the circumstances”, a report from the hearing said.

During the hearing, the panel heard that the offences for which Coomber was arrested on August 3, 2016, had put “his profession into disrepute and breached the fundamental tenets of his profession and is liable to do so in the future.”

When he appeared at Winchester Crown Court on May 18, the court heard how the 47-year-old who had worked for the NHS as a paramedic for 19 years, had turned to “extreme pornography”

after he was assaulted while trying to help a woman in Basingstoke.

The panel said the charges against Coomber were ‘extremely serious’ and “that the nature and gravity of his conviction for offences of downloading child pornography damaged public confidence in his profession.”

Members of the HCPTS came to the conclusion that there was no other option but to strike Coomber’s name from the register.

In making the decision, the panel said: “The panel considered that this case was far too serious to take no action or to impose a caution order.

“Neither outcome would protect the public or meet the public interest because the registrant would be able to practise without restriction.

“The panel therefore decided to strike the registrant’s name off the register, because of the gravity of his offending, the risk he presents to others, the need to deter others, and in order to uphold and maintain proper standards of conduct.”

When Coomber was arrested, police found 31 category A images, the most extreme variety, 27 category B and 18 category C moving images of children, as well as nearly 1,000 category C still images.

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