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Friday, 17 August, 2001, 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK
Convicted health lecturer struck off
Computer screen
Images were downloaded from the internet
A lecturer who downloaded child pornography on to his computer has been struck off by his professional body.

John Howe - a leading authority on sexual health - claimed he downloaded the material from the internet to help with his scientific research.

But the 51-year-old was fined 3,000 and ordered to register as a sex offender for five years at Newport Crown Court last year for taking and distributing an indecent image of an under-age boy.
John Howe
John Howe: Struck off

On Friday, the professional conduct committee of the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visitors agreed to remove Howe from the register after he was found guilty of misconduct.

Howe, worked as a lecturer in sexual health at the School of Nursing at the University College of Medicine in Cardiff.

His boss Professor Ann Tucker told the conduct committee: "The presentation of pornography is something we would not expect to take place in a lecture."

The committee's chairwoman, Anne Kelly, said there was "no alternative" but to remove Howe from the register with immediate effect.

It would not have been necessary for him to access pornography.

Professor Ann Tucker

She said: "The jury in court rejected Mr Howe's defence that he had a legitimate reason for storing and distributing the material and we do too.

"His conduct did not service the interests of society, justify public confidence or uphold the good standing and reputation of the profession. His actions are not worthy of a nurse."

In June last year, the University of Wales ordered an investigation after Howe was ordered to register as a sex offender at Newport crown court.

The jury heard that Howe became addicted to pornography.
Newport crown court
Newport crown court heard Howe stored hundreds of images

He was fined 3,000 with 1,000 costs for swapping hardcore images of naked boys on the internet.

Judge Huw Rossiter said Howe had developed a fixation with pornographic images and had come within a "hair's breadth" of going to prison.

The lecturer had stored hundreds of indecent images on his home computer,including fetish, adult gay and Asian pornography.

He claimed it was part of his 30,000-a-year university role where he has a "respected worldwide reputation" as a sex expert.

Howe, of Cathays, Cardiff, said he had downloaded the pictures to prepare for a lecture on child sexual development he was due to give.

He taught nurses for 15 years and was a leading authority on the care of HIV patients.

See also:

06 May 00 | Sci/Tech
Net sex addiction on the rise
02 Mar 00 | Sci/Tech
200,000 net porn addicts in US
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