Former GP and paediatrician found with 1.2m child sexual abuse images jailed

Former GP David Shaw, who was found in possession more then one million indecent images of children  (National Crime Agency)
Former GP David Shaw, who was found in possession more then one million indecent images of children (National Crime Agency)

A former GP and paediatrician caught with more than 1.2m child sexual abuse images has been jailed for two years and two months.

David Shaw, 48, from Taunton, Somerset, used anonymisation techniques on a peer-to-peer sharing network Freenet to download indecent images of children, but his identity was traced by National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators.

Shaw was arrested by NCA officers at his former home in Maidstone, Kent, in February 2019.

His devices were seized and found to contain 1,278,256 indecent images of children in categories A-C - A being the most severe.

It marked one of the largest hauls of child sexual abuse images the NCA has seen.

The categorisation of such images was explained to Shaw, who told officers that all three categories would all be found on his devices.

Shaw trained at Guy’s Hospital Medical School in London, and graduated in 2004.

He was registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) and practised as a GP between 2005 and 2013, after which point his GMC membership lapsed and he no longer worked as a doctor.

When interviewed, Shaw admitted that he had been downloading indecent images of children since 2005, and had been expecting a visit from law enforcement at some point.

He described himself as a “criminal” and a “bad” person, and admitted to being sexually attracted to pre-pubescent girls.

He added that he had become depressed when he tried to cease viewing indecent images of children, and stopped working as a GP at that point.

Shaw was charged with three counts of making and possessing indecent images of children, and pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court on October 18 last year.

On Thursday, he was sentenced at the same court to two years and two months in prison.

When sentencing him, His Honour Judge Saxby commented that as a specialist in paediatrics, Shaw more than others would have been aware of the harm inflicted on the children in the images he downloaded.

He also handed Shaw a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

NCA Senior Investigator Tony Smith said: “This is one of the largest collections of child sexual abuse images that the NCA has ever dealt with, the scale of which was shocking.

“Not only did Shaw abuse his position of trust, he helped fuel the sickening trade in child sexual abuse images by downloading this material, which re-victimises every child.

“Tragically, behind these images are vulnerable children being exploited just to satisfy paedophiles.

“The NCA continues to pursue offenders like Shaw, make them accountable for their actions and to protect victims of online child sexual abuse.”

If you think you or someone you know has been a victim of child sexual abuse, you should report it to your local police on 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Help and advice for children, parents and carers from the NCA’s CEOP Education Team can be found on