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Bristol Live
Mother’s ‘disgust’ as psychiatrist uses stress of daughter’s inquest as excuse for child sex abuse images
By Tristan Cork
June 5, 2020

UK Psychiatrist Adrian Marsden

UK Psychiatrist Adrian Marsden

The mother of a Bristol teenager whose death was put down to the negligence of NHS mental health workers has expressed her disgust after one of the psychiatrist’s treating her used her case as an excuse for his addiction to child sex abuse images.

Nicky Romero said Dr Adrian Marsden should have been jailed after he was found with almost 2,000 indecent images of child sex abuse on his phone.

Marsden was found guilty and sentenced on Thursday for possession of indecent images of children, but was spared jail and given a community sentence.

In the court, in mitigation, the case of one of Marsden’s former patients, Becky Romero, was mentioned in mitigation as a reason why the 60-year-old ‘turned to’ the indecent images of child sex abuse, because he was ‘stressed’.

Marsden was the psychiatrist at an adolescent mental health hospital in Dorset when Becky Romero, a troubled 15-year-old was admitted – 80 miles from her home in Bedminster Down, because there were no beds available in Bristol.

Marsden discharged her back home after a couple of weeks’ treatment, failed to communicate properly with the mental health teams in Bristol, and didn’t make sure there was an adequate support programme in place back in Bristol.

Within days back in July 2017, Becky had died, and her death was ruled by Avon’s coroner as an accident with NHS neglect a contributing factor.

At the inquest, held in December 2017, Marsden was questioned and criticised by Becky’s family.

In court in Dorset this week, the father-of-two’s defence lawyer said stress from cases like Becky’s made him ‘turn to’ his stash of indecent images of children, which he was addicted to.

The court heard he had the images from at least 2010 to 2019, when he was caught when his phone happened to be examined by someone else.

In Bristol, with the three-year anniversary of Becky’s death approaching, Nicky Romero said she could barely contain her disgust at her daughter’s case being mentioned in the Dorset court.

“How dare he use my child’s inquest as an excuse to use child porn,” Nicky Romero told Bristol Live.

“Everybody gets stressed at some stage in their life and everyone manages to deal with it without resulting to that.

“I said he was a liar before and he has proved it again. He again has managed to get away scot free,” the 48-year-old said.

“He’s a despicable man, he disgusts me. As a family, we are again devastated by this man’s actions.

“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 the whole time? 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,” she added.