A junior doctor who was working at Wrexham Maelor Hospital has been struck off the medical register.
Thomas Jenkins was censured at a meeting in Manchester of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).
The Manchester-based panel was told Jenkins was convicted at Manchester Crown Court in April of attempting to engage a 13-year-old boy in sexual activity.
He was ordered as part of a community sentence to take part in the Accredited Sexual Offending Programme for three years and was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.
The tribunal, chaired by Lindsay Irvine, was told Jenkins, who earned his primary medical qualification at Cardiff University, was working at the time of the offence as a Foundation Year 2 doctor in psychiatry at the Maelor hospital.
On March 14, after consuming a large amount of alcohol and taking an illicit substances at a party in Manchester, Jenkins logged onto a gay dating computer app called ‘Grindr’ and began engaging in an online conversation with a user names ‘Liam14’.
He believed him to be a 13-year-old boy but it was an undercover police officer.
The following day he exchanged in sexually explicit messages and pictures of a sexual nature with Liam14 and asked to meet the teenager in person.
For the General Medical Council, barrister Sharon Beattie said Jenkins had taken drugs of his own volition and pursued a course of conduct which was deliberate, considered and over a two-day period.
Taking into account the wider public interest and the interest of the profession, she said there was no question that Jenkins was “impaired and not suitable to practise”.
The tribunal ruled that public confidence in Jenkins would be undermined by his conviction, which he had admitted.
But the members added that Jenkins had apologised for his behaviour and they had found him to be a credible open and honest witness when giving evidence.
In their detailed decision document the MPTS panel members said: “The tribunal could see your passion for your vocation was reflected in your answers, and the shame you know felt in letting down the profession, your family and yourself.”
However, because of the gravity of the offence, the suspension from the register had to be immediate.
After the hearing an NSPCC spokesman said: “Jenkins’ case shows, once again, the dangers children face online and highlights the growing issue of web-based grooming and exploitation.
“The teenager targeted by Jenkins wasn’t real, but the danger he potentially posed to a child was genuine.
“It is far too easy for adults to contact children online. It’s vital that parents and carers talk to their children about web safety – whether it’s the importance of privacy settings, or the risks of sharing information with people you don’t know.
“But social networks, governments and law enforcement also need to step up measures to make the online world safer for children.”
See full story in the Leader