Paedophile NHS psychiatrist avoids jail after police found vile collection of almost 2,000 child abuse images when he confessed he had ‘fetish’
By Ieuan Ivett
June 5, 2020
Adrian Marsden – psychiatrist
An NHS psychiatrist addicted to child abuse images has avoided jail after he was found out when an amateur dramatics coach helped him download a mobile phone app to learn his lines.
Charmaine Parkin was shocked to find a thumbnail of a vile image on child psychiatrist Dr Adrian Marsden’s device and confronted him.
Police later found almost 2,000 sickening images on his computer.
Marsden, who worked at an NHS adolescent mental health treatment centre, admitted he had a ‘fetish’ for child abuse images and viewed it to help him ease stress.
One of these occasions was after the 2017 inquest of tragic teenager Becky Romero.
Marsden, 60, came under fire from Becky’s parents after he decided to discharge the 15-year-old only for her to tragically hang herself days later.
Becky’s mother Nicky Romero expressed her disgust after the married father-of-two avoided jail time after being convicted of possessing child abuse images.
Mrs Romero, 48, from Bristol, said: ‘He worked in an adolescent unit where he took children into a little room to talk one-to-one with them. Yet he was behaving like this? I am gobsmacked.
‘I have been through so much stress because of what happened but I dealt with it. Most people who are stressed go for a walk or have a drink, they don’t turn to that.
‘I wish he had gone to jail and am disgusted that he hasn’t. He has got away with it scot-free.’
A court heard Marsden worked at the Pebble Lodge NHS treatment centre in Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset.
Jason Spelman, who was prosecuting, said he was exposed back in October 2019 at an evening acting class at Bournemouth University he helped run with Ms Parkin.
He wanted to download a mobile app to help him learn lines as part of the acting class.
Mr Spelman said: ‘Charmaine Parkin offered to help him with this and when she was handling his phone she noticed a thumbnail which led to an image of a child in a sexual pose.
‘She was concerned about this and decided to confront him at a meeting on January 7, 2020, saying she could not work with him.
‘He told her he had a fetish and had hundreds of images which he was ashamed of and he wanted to get help but if he told his work he would get the sack.
‘She contacted the police and they arrested him at Pebble Lodge. Police found he had a large number of indecent images of children as young as eight years old.’
Officers found 1,982 Category C images and 42 more serious prohibited images showing ‘corporal punishment’ of children on his computer which were dated between May 2010 and January 2020.
David Hurley, mitigating, said that Marsden had never ‘breached trust’ by acting on his urges with any of his vulnerable teenage patients.
He said that he had been suspended by the General Medical Council and was likely to be ‘struck off’ following a disciplinary tribunal.
Hurley explained: ‘Dr Marsden started downloading indecent images in 2010 and there were periods when he left them well alone.
‘He deleted some of the images as he knew what he was doing was wrong but like a smoker who is trying to quit smoking who keeps some cigarettes he kept some.
‘These, he looked at in times of trauma, such as when he was suffering depression in late 2017 and 2018 after being criticised at an inquest of a young person took her own life.
‘Dr Marsden separated his professional and private life and never acted upon it (his urges) through contact with children.
‘He is now heavily engaged in Sex Addicts Anonymous and knows he is likely to be struck off by the General Medical Council.
‘He has since retired and his wife and family are standing by him.’
Marsden, of Poole, pleaded guilty to charges of making indecent photos of children and possessing prohibited images of children under the Protection of Child Act (1978) at Poole Magistrates’ Court.
He avoided jail and was instead fined £2,500 and given five year Sexual Harm Prevention Order, an 18 month community order and told to pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.