March 2018

NHS offers reassurance as Chester GP avoids jail after being caught with indecent images of children

Reassurance has been offered by health bosses after a well known Chester GP was given a suspended jail sentence for downloading indecent images of children.

Dr Anthony Kenmore Bland, who worked at Fountains Medical Practice, pleaded guilty to seven charges at Chester Crown Court last Friday (March 2); including five relating to possession of indecent images and one to possessing extreme pornography.

The 62-year-old, of Ormonde Road, also admitted one count of attempting to incite a female child under 16 to engage in sexual activity.

He was sentenced to a total of 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years and was made subject to a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Bland was caught after police were alerted to child-related search terms being used on a computer that was traced to him.

Officers raided his family home on Ormonde Road in the city on January 26 last year and discovered a huge stash of indecent images on five devices.

The collection of 16,936 images and movies related to children aged between six and 15.

It also included 45 of the most serious category A, of which 11 were video files up to an hour long of children being raped and abused.

Sentencing, Judge Simon Berkson said he was willing to suspend the 20-month prison sentence for two years as he believed Bland could be rehabilitated.

But he also made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO), aimed at protecting youngsters, and ordered him to sign on the sex offenders register for 10 years.

The judge said: “You have brought shame on your family and on your profession.

“You kept a dark and horrible secret. You spent a lot of time viewing indecent images of children on your computer.

“Every one of those children is a victim of sexual abuse, abuse perpetrated because people like you are prepared, and want, to view these images.”

He added: “Your reputation is in tatters and you are now a convicted sex offender. You have brought all of this on yourself.”

Bland pleaded guilty to a total of seven charges, five of which related to indecent images and cartoons of children, one to possessing extreme pornography including bestiality, and one final count of attempting to incite a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity.

He will have to participate in a sex offenders programme as a condition of his suspended sentence, and was also ordered to pay court costs of £800.