June 2018

Struck-off dentist jailed over child abuse images

A former Glasgow dentist struck off after he hid that he had HIV has been jailed for possessing a haul of indecent images of children.

Harry Robertson was removed from the dental register in 2014 after a case before the General Dental Council.

Last June the dentist was caught with dozens of indecent pictures and videos of children at his west end flat.

He was jailed for 18 months after he admitted downloading and possessing the material between 2009 and 2017.

Sheriff Joseph Platt said he considered Robertson’s lack of previous convictions and health problems.

But he told Glasgow Sheriff Court: “The children involved in these images were hideously abused”.

Robertson was also put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

The court heard police received information last June that there were indecent images at the Cleveden Drive flat.

On 6 June police searched the property and found a hard drive, laptop and USB sticks that were later forensically examined.

The court was told 130 still images and 85 videos were found on the various devices with the majority being “category A”, the most serious.

Robertson was detained and interviewed and made no reply when he was later charged.

Defence lawyer Rodney Stevens said following Robertson’s HIV diagnosis his relationship broke down.

He had stopped working in 2012 and the following year there was a “rapid decline in his mental health”.

He said Robertson didn’t actively search for the images but used a video sharing application and accepts “he should have taken action to avoid these images”.

In 2014 the General Dental Council (GDC) conducted a private hearing into his actions, with the majority of the charges against him withheld from the public, but documents show he was accused of “dishonest conduct”.

A ruling on the case stated: “The committee has determined that it is appropriate to erase the name of Harry Gordon Robertson from the Dentists Register.”

In August 2013, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) contacted patients who had been treated by Robertson between January 2004 and March 2013.

More than 10,000 patients were tested and no-one was found to be HIV positive.

At the time hundreds of patients were not traced at that time although a public awareness campaign was conducted in the hope these people would present for testing.