January 2019

NHS doctor, 35, arrested after his wife found child abuse images stash on his laptop while watching Game of Thrones then handed computer to police avoids jail

A judge praised a woman’s courage after she reported her husband to the police when she found sick images of children being raped on his laptop.

She had borrowed her partner’s computer to watch Game of Thrones but instead made a horrific discovery, a court heard.

Now Dr Christopher Ball-Nossa, 35, from Chorlton, has admitted having had ‘inappropriate thoughts’ about children after first seeing such images when he himself was just a teenager.

The disgraced doctor, who was working at University Hospital in Coventry at the time, pleaded guilty to six charges of making (downloading) indecent images of children.

And at Warwick Crown Court on Friday, Ball-Nossa was given a two-year community order with a rehabilitation activity and a condition of taking part in a sex offender programme.

Judge Peter Cooke also ordered him to register as a sex offender for ten years and made him subject to a sexual harm prevention order for the same period.

Prosecutor Anthony Cartin said that in June last year Ball-Nossa’s wife went to Coventry Central police station with his laptop, and raised a concern about the material he was accessing.

She said they had met in 2007, and the following year she had been working on her laptop while he was out when the battery died, so she decided to borrow his laptop to finish the work.

She discovered two images of an eight-year-old boy and a young girl on the computer, so confronted him about them – but accepted his explanation that they had been unwanted pop-ups.

They subsequently married, and by June last year he was working as a doctor at University Hospital in Walsgrave, Coventry.

On June 6 his wife wanted to use his laptop to watch Game of Thrones, and out of curiosity she decided to check whether he had deleted any of her photographs.

She explained that she backed up her pictures on his computer, but he had complained about the space they were taking up, so she wanted to make sure he had not got rid of any of them.

But when she went to the recycle bin she saw file names such as ‘child porn 3-16’ – and when she tried to open the image she had to select the option to restore the file.

When she clicked on that, she got a message saying that in opening it she may be committing a criminal offence, and she got the same message when she tried to open other images, the court was told.

Having been handed his laptop, police officers arrested Ball-Nossa at work and seized a second laptop from his home, said Mr Cartin.

On the two laptops they found a total of 1,528 indecent images, both stills and movies, of children aged from one to 13.

There were 22 movies and 196 stills in category A – the most severe and explicit grade of image showing the rape of children

When Ball-Nossa was interviewed, he answered ‘no comment’ to questions from the officers.

Sentencing Ball-Nossa, Judge Cooke told him: “The first thing I want to acknowledge is the conduct of your wife.

“It must have put her in the most appalling predicament, but she did the most courageous thing and went to the police. She found the courage to do the right thing.

“You also found the courage to do the right thing by admitting the offences. You have made admissions in the pre-sentence report that you have been having inappropriate thoughts about children since you happened on a first image of abuse, you say, when you were 17.

“I have to sentence you for your possession of 1,500 and more indecent images of children. Some of those are no more than posed nudity, but about a seventh of them are appalling images of the abuse of young children.

“The effects of your commission of these offences have been dramatic, to say the least. Your medical career is over, and your marriage is also over. You have ruined your life by what you did.”