A consultant radiologist who for sexual thrills secretly recorded strangers, work colleagues and even family friends using the toilet was struck off with immediate effect today (Wednesday).
The Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service began hearing evidence last week and reconvened this morning to announce the sanction to be imposed on 52-year-old consultant radiologist Mark McClure.
“The tribunal has determined that the sanction that should be imposed is one of erasure,” announced the chairperson.
She later declared the “erasure” will take effect immediately and will also cover the 28 days in which McClure can appeal the panels decision.
McClure has only recently been freed from prison having served four and a half months behind bars, including over Christmas, after he admitted 11 counts of voyeurism.
The MPTS hears cases against doctors where serious concerns have been raised and as a result, their fitness to practise has been called into question by the General Medical Council.
In McClure’s case, according to a statement on the MPTS website the tribunal will look into his two sets of offences, one dealt with in February 2017 where he was handed a probation order and again last December where McClure was handed a nine month jail sentence at Craigavon Crown Court.
Jailing McClure in December, Judge Patrick Lynch QC told the 52-year-old that as a “highly respected and highly regarded senior consultant,” he had abused that respect and trust to carry out his seedy offences in the toilets at Craigavon Area Hospital.
“Perhaps even more repellent is that he carried out the same activity at his own home, recording and retaining material for his own sexual gratification,” said the judge who expressed “surprise” that the maximum sentence for voyeurism was a two year jail term.
In addition to the jail sentence, McClure was ordered to sign the police sex offenders register for the next ten years and Judge Lynch said while some victims were “fortunate” to not even know they had been recorded, he had two victim impact statements which manifested the psychological distress McClure’s behaviour had caused.
Last November McClure, with an address on the Grange Road in Bangor, entered guilty pleas to 11 counts of voyeurism committed on various dates between 9 July 2014 and 23 December 2014.
It’s the second time that McClure has been dealt with for voyeurism as four years ago in February 2017, he was handed a nine month probation order for trying to record ladies using the toilets in Hillsbrough Private Clinic.
It was that investigation which led to McClure’s second court appearance which related to three specific places where McClure recorded women using the toilet – a bathroom in his marital home, a disabled toilet at the medical education centre at Craigavon Area Hospital and a toilet in the radiography department of CAH.
In the offences he committed in February 2015, McClure secreted his iPhone in the air vent of the unisex toilet at Hillsborough Private Clinic and after his offences were uncovered by suspicious staff, police seized his phone, a computer and a memory stick.
When those pieces of hardware were eventually examined more than two years after they were first seized, cops uncovered covertly recorded video clips
Taking each location in turn, prosecuting QC Neil Connor described how two family friends were recorded using the toilet in McClure’s home which at that time, was a sprawling five bedroom house with grounds and stables on the Edentrillick Road in Hillsborough.
“The position of the phone was such that both victims’ private parts were clearly visible on the recordings,” said the barrister adding that the ladies had “identified themselves” from stills extracted from the footage.
Moving to the offences at the hospital which had been McClure’s “primary employment as a consultant radiologist” and a place where he had worked for 15 years, Mr Connor explained how McClure “secreted his phone in the disabled toilet of the medical education centre and recorded a number of females using the facilities.”
Three unidentified women were recorded, one of them twice, with that lady appearing “to be a staff member” as she had a lanyard around her neck, said the lawyer adding that in these clips, the private parts of two women were “clearly visible” while with the third the viewer “could see her bare bottom.”
As regards the footage taken at the radiography department, that footage differed slightly in that rather than hiding the phone and hoping it wasn’t found, McClure took a real risk of being caught by “holding his phone against what appears to be a gap in the door.”
In this part of the offending pattern, the court heard that McClure recorded three women, two of whom remain unknown and one who has been identified as a former colleague.
Mr Connor said that akin to the offences at the private clinic, there were a number of clips which recorded McClure secreting his phone and “positioning the camera in the toilet.”
Arrested and interviewed about the charges, father-of-three McClure claimed he couldn’t really remember if there was footage in the computer and memory stick as he he had been suffering from psychological and financial stress, “even though he was in receipt of a not insubstantial income,” said prosecuting counsel.
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Lynch revealed the monthly household income when he was married was around £15,000 but labelled McClure’s lack of memory claims as “obvious lies.”
He further revealed that according to reports from probation and a psychologist who has been treating McClure, his attitude to the offences was “less than frank and forthcoming” as he tried to minimise his involvement, denied an interest in voyeuristic behaviours and engaged in “obfuscation” when pressed about his behaviour.
He told McClure the fact that he recorded his victims was an aggravating feature, leaving them fearful of who all had seen it and whether it had been disseminated or uploaded to the internet.
“Certainly there’s no suggestion that they have been shared or uploaded but….that has causes a great degree of concern to the victims,” said the judge.
The victims, Judge Lynch quoted from their statements, felt “violated and deeply distressed at such an invasion of privacy” with one having to undergo therapy and another finding herself habitually checking for hidden cameras in work.
He said while there were mitigating factors such as the delay in bringing the case to court and McClure’s guilty pleas, that “must be put in the context” of his offences and the aggravating features.
As well as the jail sentence, the judge also imposed a seven year Sexual Offences Prevention Order which compels McClure to register any mobile phone with police and to allow officers in to his home to check that he is complying.