An Auckland doctor has admitted sexually abusing three young girls living in an environment of "total trust" - but wants permanent name suppression to pursue a return to medicine.
The 59-year-old man pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault against girls under the age of 12 at the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday. Two other charges, including rape, were withdrawn by the Crown, and the doctor was granted interim name suppression by Justice Graham Lang until sentencing in April.
However, the man is seeking permanent name suppression so he can return to practise medicine, said his lawyer Peter Winter.
"The impact [if suppression was lifted] on him is quite significant. He was a practising general practitioner, this would affect his ability to continue to practise," Mr Winter told the court.
Prosecutor Philip Hamlin said the Crown would oppose permanent name suppression.
To my mind the problem here is that Dr X would be in a position of trust as a GP, and that may put children (and indeed adults) in a vulnerable position. In the teaching profession if there are concerns with a teacher's professional practice or conduct the Teachers Council can put limits on their teaching, e.g. can only teach a certain age-group, or there may have a written statement that they have to show to any prospective employer at the interview stage, or a mentor may be appointed, etc etc. Does anyone know if the same can happen for doctors?