WA psychiatrist who filmed young boys urinating banned from practising for three years
By Heather McNeill
November 8, 2018

Perth psychiatrist Aaron Voon

Perth psychiatrist Aaron Voon

A prominent Perth child psychiatrist who secretly filmed young boys’ genitals as they urinated in public toilets will be able to return to his profession in three years.

Dr Aaron Voon, the former director of Cockburn Central’s Successful Development and Therapy Centre, narrowly avoided a jail term in September 2017, over eight child pornography-related charges.

A District Court of Western Australia judge heard at the time that Voon had an obsession with urination.

He received a suspended jail sentence.

The State Administrative Tribunal on Thursday published a decision to disqualify Voon from applying for registration as a health practitioner for three years, citing professional misconduct.

During Voon’s trial, psychological reports submitted to the court found Voon’s offending was a manifestation of undiagnosed autism and an obsessive compulsive disorder.

Despite his conduct, there was no suggestion the clinical care Voon’s young clients was ever compromised.

The tribunal found Voon was extremely remorseful and had sustained devasting losses such as the sale of his home, assets, practice, reputation, employment and humiliation on social media.

A consultant psychiatrist told the tribunal Voon was undertaking active rehabilitation and was extremely unlikely to reoffend.

“Having engaged in appropriate treatment, and with clear motivation to continue with this, it is my opinion that in future, Voon will be able to manage his mental health issues appropriately, and reoffending will be extremely unlikely,” they said.

Voon’s conviction followed searches of the 42-year-old’s Mount Pleasant home and clinic in June 2016, where he was found to have recorded eight videos featuring young boys urinating in public toilets and taken more than 400 still images of the videos – often zooming in, or cropping them to focus on the boys’ genitals.

The videos were recorded over nine months in 2015 and 2016 in Perth, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.

The Western Australian offences involved eight boys aged under 13 who were secretly and unknowingly recorded by Voon as they urinated in a Hoyts Garden City public toilet in January 2016.

Voon’s crimes went undetected until May 2016 when a father noticed him filming his son in a Canadian public toilet and confronted him, forcing him to hand over his mobile phone.

Canadian police arrested Voon immediately after the filming incident and charged him with making and possessing child pornography.

During sentencing, Voon’s lawyer Sam Vandongen said his client suffered post traumatic stress after he was detained in Canada for 15 days, during which time he claimed to have had faeces thrown at him.

The court heard he developed an obsession with toilets and cisterns as a child and had developed a fascination with urination.

Judge Alan Troy described the case as “unusual”, saying what Voon had done was clear, but despite several psychiatric reports, why he had done it, was not.

He concluded Voon’s motivation for recording the boys, aged between around 7-13, was partly attributed to his psychiatric conditions and urination obsession, but also included some sexual motivation, despite Voon claiming he was a-sexual.