New Plymouth Pharmacist Convicted For Child Pornography
Jan 28, 2017 12:20 AM EST
A pharmacist for 38 years, was convicted of child pornography at his pharmacy. He was ruled out by the New Plymouth District Court over nearly 20 child pornography charges.
Sixty-three-year-old Geoffrey Clifford Allen, was convicted of accessing, printing and disposing of the material at the pharmacy of which he owned and operated, the Fitzroy Pharmacy. The registered since 1976 pharmacist had been running his pharmacy for 14 years. He was also the resident pharmacist between June 2014 and October 2015.
The pharmacist was initially convicted in December 2015 for 17 counts of possession and knowledge of objectionable publications, following after which he was sentenced to a seven-months home detention. The man had worked part-time for a minimum wage in garden maintenance since.
The Pharmacy Council's Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) forwarded Allen's case to the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in November. The tribunal ordered him to be censured and his registration to be cancelled.
Following the final hearsay of the charges, the convicted New Plymouth pharmacist was scraped of his practitioner's registration and was ordered to pay $500 in costs for the charges. The PCC sought the usual costs of 50 per cent of the hearing and findings, which totalled more than $20,000.
Allen has been doing the offenses for over a decade. His activities were discovered by an employee of the pharmacy's document destruction service. According to the report of the employee, Allen would access the pharmacy's computer and printer and print the images of child pornography when other employees would leave.
He would then hide the hard-copied photos behind a cupboard in the pharmacy's office until later throwing them in the rubbish. Allen admitted to printing about 12 images, two to three times a week.
M Neill, acting on behalf of the PCC, told the tribunal chaired by Kenneth Johnston QC during the disciplinary hearing, that the images involved were at "the more serious end of the spectrum".
The tribunal reached its conclusion to cancel Allen's registration considering the seriousness of the offending, and his breach of his legal, professional and moral obligations. Now, the case not only questions the practitioners overall fitness to practice, but, inevitably, has brought disreputation to the pharmaceutical industry as a whole," they said.