Doctor's actions 'morally repugnant'

A doctor who was found guilty of indecently assaulting two young boys, who were the children of a family friend, has been struck off.

Dr I admitted the charges in September last year and was sentenced to 12 months home detention on each of the two charges.

He was then referred to the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (HPDT), who released its decision today, saying his actions were "morally, ethically and professionally repugnant".

The then 65-year-old - who was granted permanent name suppression, along with his victims -- had been a registered doctor for more than 20 years when he indecently assaulted the two brothers, who were aged 6 and 11 at the time, in their own home.

Dr I had been staying at a friend's house following the suicide of his adult son.

During the period of his offending in late 2012 and early 2013, he was suffering "an intense emotional disturbance", after coming home from a holiday in mid 2012 to find his son had taken his own life.

He became "profoundly depressed", suffered flashbacks of cleaning the scene, and had suicidal thoughts himself, the HPDT said.

"It was because of these tragic events that a close friend suggested that the practitioner might like to come and spend time visiting at his family home with his two young boys, the two victims," the decision said.

While he was staying at the family home he would creep into the boys' bedrooms or into the bathroom while they were showering and indecently assault them, the HPDT said.

"The offence relates to a health practitioner's core professional obligation to avoid any unlawful sexual conduct as it fundamentally undermines the trust and confidence that the community must have in a health practitioner," the decision said.

"Sexual offending against young and vulnerable children under the age of 12 years must always be regarded as morally, ethically and professionally repugnant."

It said the offences were "at the more serious end of the broad range of indecent acts" and "amongst the most serious offending that this tribunal has to deal with".

"There is no doubt that this offending must adversely reflect on his fitness to practise."

It ruled Dr I's registration as a medical practitioner be cancelled, and that conditions should be imposed on him prior to being able to re-apply. He was also censured and ordered to pay costs of about $6000.

- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ