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Tribunal reprimands doctor, cancels registration

22 Jun 2016

The State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia (the tribunal) has reprimanded Mr Aran John Bowden Denford, cancelled his medical registration and disqualified him for applying for registration for two and a half years, for accessing child pornography over 14 years.

Mr Denford, was first registered as a medical practitioner in Australia in June 2012. The Medical Board of Australia suspended his registration in August 2014 as an interim step to protect the public, pending other inquiries. In April 2015, the Board referred him to the tribunal.

In 2008, Mr Denford was charged by New Zealand Police with possession of child pornography. The New Zealand Court of Appeal later dismissed the charges after evidence gathered by the Crown was ruled inadmissible and the practitioner was discharged without conviction.

In August 2013, the New Zealand Customs Service seized Mr Denford’s laptop for forensic analysis, which revealed that more than 3,800 images had been deleted. 95% of those images were female children or teenage models who were naked or semi-naked and in sexual poses.

In July 2014, the Medical Council of New Zealand suspended Mr Denford’s New Zealand medical registration. The Medical Council of New Zealand subsequently cancelled his registration in February 2015 after a disciplinary hearing.

Ahead of the tribunal proceedings in Western Australia, Mr Denford made full admissions to the Board, showed he had insight into his behaviour and agreed his conduct amounted to professional misconduct. He advised the Board that he had put rehabilitative steps in place to deal with his addiction issues. The Board and Mr Denford jointly agreed on appropriate sanctions, which were endorsed by the tribunal.

The tribunal reprimanded Mr Denford, cancelled his registration, disqualified him from applying for registration for two and a half years and ordered him to pay the Board costs of $1,800.

The tribunal decision will be published on the WA SAT website and on Austlii.

Page reviewed 22/06/2016