Psychiatric nurse caught with more than 1,000 indecent images of children is struck off the register after being spared jail
- Gregory Smithson uploaded ‘revolting’ images to the internet anonymously
- His offending took place over ‘prolonged period’ while nurse in East Yorkshire
- He was handed suspended jail sentence after admitting making indecent images
- Smithson was finally struck of nursing register following hearing last week
A psychiatric nurse caught with more than 1,000 indecent images of children has been struck off the nursing register after being spared jail.
Gregory Smithson collected ‘horrific, revolting and disgusting’ images of children over a ‘prolonged period’ while working as a registered mental health nurse in Hull, East Yorkshire.
He was first arrested on July 22, 2019, after a Humberside Police investigation found he had accessed an IP address to upload the indecent pictures to the internet via anonymous chat service KIK.
In subsequent police interviews, Smithson explained his offending had actually begun ‘over three years’ earlier.
He told officers it was ‘more about the collection than the material’, but he ‘understood what he was doing was wrong’.
Smithson subsequently pleaded guilty to making an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a children at Hull and Holderness Magistrates’ Court on November 6, 2020.
The case was sent to Hull Crown Court for sentencing on December 4, 2020, where he was handed a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.
Hull Crown Court (pictured), East Yorkshire, where Gregory Smithson was handed a suspended prison sentence
He was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order, placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and ordered to undertake 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
The court heard he was found in possession of 320 images of category A, the most serious, of which 94 were unique. Police also discovered 223 category B, of which 66 were unique, and 477 category C images.
However, the case has again come to light following a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) hearing that concluded on Wednesday.
Smithson was impaired from working as a nurse while his criminal case was ongoing, but he was finally struck off from the NMC register last week.
A panel, led by chair Peter Cadman, acknowledged mitigating factors that Smithson had fully complied with the orders of Hull Crown Court and has shown ‘genuine remorse for the harm cause by his offending’.
It added, though, that his actions were ‘a significant departure from the standards expected of a registered nurse’.
The panel concluded: ‘Mr Smithson’s actions… are fundamentally incompatible with him remaining on the register.
‘The panel was of the view that the findings in this particular case demonstrate that Mr Smithson’s actions were serious and to allow him to continue practising would undermine public confidence in the profession and in the NMC as a regulatory body.
‘Having regard of the matters identified, in particular the effect of Mr Smithson’s actions in bringing the profession into disrepute by adversely affecting the public’s view of how a registered nurse should conduct themselves, the panel has concluded that nothing short of a striking off order would be sufficient in this case.
‘The panel considered that this order was necessary to mark the importance of maintaining public confidence in the profession, and to send to the public and the profession a clear message about the standard of behaviour required of a registered nurse.’
Smithson, who was not in attendance at the hearing, has 28 days to appeal the decision, but has previously stated he no longer wishes to be on the NMC register.
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