- Mansoor Khan claimed he wasn’t aware that looking at the images was illegal
- 54-year-old downloaded ‘the most revolting’ photos of children as young as two
An eminent NHS consultant who was found with more than 100 ‘abhorrent and perverted’ images of children on his phone has been spared jail.
Plastic surgeon Mansoor Khan was deemed a ‘pillar of society’ and coached a girls’ rugby team but led a ‘double life’.
He downloaded an anonymous browser and accessed sites on the dark web to download dozens of ‘the most revolting’ photos of children as young as two, the court heard.
When police followed a digital trail from a Snapchat account and arrested him, the 54-year-old father of four claimed he wanted to protect his children from what they might find and was doing his ‘parental responsibility’ in accessing the dark web.
Khan appeared at Salisbury Crown Court, Wiltshire, after being found guilty at a five day trial of three charges of making indecent photos of a child.
He was spared an immediate prison term today for the offence between December 10, 2020, and August 24, 2020, while he was working at Salisbury District Hospital and University Hospital Southampton.
He walked free after a judge was told there was ‘every reason to believe’ he would never appear before a court again and had led a life which ‘hugely benefited his community’ – including coaching the rugby team.
Khan’s trial heard he used encrypted sites to message others, accessed the dark web anonymously and repeatedly accessed child pornography on his mobile phone.
The experienced surgeon, who specialises in reconstructive surgery, breast surgery, body contouring and ‘facial rejuvenation’ claimed he was investigating the dangers of the internet and wasn’t aware that looking at the images was illegal.
During the trial, prosecutor Charles Gabb told jurors: ‘”I can resist anything but temptation”, words uttered by one of this nation’s greatest wordsmiths – Oscar Wilde.
‘There are elements to a person’s sex drive which have a dark side.
‘The sexual temptation for Mr Khan was such that he gave into it not once, not twice, but many times over.
‘The temptation was watching, seeing and perhaps fantasising about children.’
Mr Gabb told the court the ‘abhorrent’ material was viewed ‘so often’ by Khan that it ‘must have done it for pleasure’.
He revealed that 31 of the 106 found in Mr Khan’s phone were classified as category A, explaining they were the ‘most revolting and abhorrent’ kind of image and the most severe in legal terms.
The court heard information recovered by the National Crime Agency found a Snapchat account leading them to Mr Khan – and police arrested him while at home with his wife in Salisbury on August 24 last year.
Speaking at his sentencing, Damian Warburton, defending, said Khan had led a life which ‘hugely benefited his community’ and was unlikely ever to appear before a court again.
Mr Warburton told the court: ‘[Mr Khan] is utterly penitent at having put himself in the way of criminal law and his life has fallen apart around him.’
Sentencing him to eight months imprisonment suspended for two years, His Honour Judge Adam Feest, said: ‘You have an exemplary record personally and professionally.
‘The mitigating factors in this case outweigh the aggravating factors.
‘Until the events that led you to this court you spent a lot of time dedicated to the local rugby team.
‘I have heard about you as a husband and father. Your wife and children remain supportive to you in full knowledge of your conviction.
‘It is against this background that I must regrettably sentence you for making indecent images of children.
‘Because of the nature of this offence showing children being raped and sexually abused a custodial sentence is unavoidable.
‘There is a real prospect of rehabilitation. For these reasons I am able to impose a suspended sentence.
‘The other aggravating features are your use of a dark web application and a search engine designed to limit your digital footprint.
‘Your explanation for why you were using them must have been rejected by the jury.
‘The use of the dark web combined with the lack of insight you display into your offending… shows you have got a sexual interest in children which you have still not come to terms with.
‘There must be a risk of future offending. It follows that I am of the view that a sexual harm prevention order is appropriate.’
The judge added Khan had ‘worked for the good of the country in the NHS’ and that his conviction would have a ‘serious impact’ on his career.
Khan was also subjected to a sexual harm prevention order stopping him from being in contact with children and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
He was fined a total of £2,156 and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.