Northern Ireland

County Antrim anaesthetist had indecent images of 'girls aged five or six'

Anaesthetist Piotr Dziurdzik has pleaded guilty to having extreme images of children Image copyright Mark Jamieson
Image caption Anaesthetist Piotr Dziurdzik has pleaded guilty to having extreme images of children

A County Antrim anaesthetist had images of girls as young as five or six among nearly 3,000 indecent images found in his home, a court has heard.

Piotr Dziurdzik, 47, who worked at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, last month pleaded guilty to 33 charges against him.

The offences were committed between 2012 and 2015.

Antrim Crown Court heard that Dziurdzik's home was searched by police in May 2015.

Of the 2,754 images discovered on external hard drives, 200 were of a more serious and extreme nature.

The court heard most of the images were of girls aged eight to 12, but some were of girls as young as five or six.

Dziurdzik faces 27 charges of making indecent photographs of children, three of possessing prohibited images of a child and three of possession of extreme pornographic images of children being sexually abused.

The court heard that he now expects to be struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC).

It was told that during questioning by police, Dziurdzik said: "It's a paradox, you know something is forbidden."

It heard that he likened viewing the images to the story of Adam and Eve, and the forbidden apple.

The court was told that the defendant viewed the images during a "blurred and messy" time in his life, when he had been drinking.

'Lost in a virtual world'

His defence lawyer said: "Rarely will a court have witnessed such a fall from grace."

He added that while using porn websites, Dziurdzik had "fallen down a rabbit hole and was lost".

The court heard that the defendant had a good family life in Poland and an excellent job but that his offending had "put a bomb under all that".

The barrister said he had become "lost in a virtual world" but never sought to minimise his offending.

The court was told that he had expressed "huge regret" that the girls in the images had to suffer for his offending to take place.

He has also been treated by a psycho-sexual consultant.

Last month, when Dziurdzik admitted the charges, a spokesperson for the Northern Trust said it was "aware of this case and took appropriate and timely action at the earliest stage to deal with this matter".

"We are also aware that an interim order of suspension has been placed on the doctor's registration by the GMC."

Dziurdzik will be sentenced on Wednesday, 16 November.