Consultant who agreed to assault girl, aged 7, with 'accomplice' is jailed

Mark Carrington, from Radlett, was a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Free Hospital in London when he was arrested

Mark Carrington, from Radlett, was a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal Free Hospital in London when he was arrested following a police sting operation - Credit: Hertfordshire Constabulary

A hospital consultant who agreed to sexually abuse a seven-year-old girl with an "accomplice" has been jailed.

Mark Carrington, from Radlett in Hertfordshire, has been told that he is a "serious danger to children" after his behaviour was uncovered during a police sting operation.

The consultant anaesthetist, who worked at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, was observed talking to an undercover officer from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU).

Carrington, aged 49, and the officer - using a fictional identity - agreed to meet with another fictional person to abuse a girl, aged 7, together.

Officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary's Child Online Safeguarding Team went on to arrest Carrington in Finchley, London, on Wednesday, January 26 this year.

He was taken into police custody, where he has remained since January.

Carrington pleaded guilty to arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence at St Albans Crown Court, and was sentenced to 28 months in prison.

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He also pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent photography or pseudo photograph of a child.

The court sentenced Carrington to a further six months in prison, which he will serve at the same time as his first sentence.

Detective Sergeant Jim Miller, of the Hertfordshire Constabulary Child Online Safeguarding Team, said: "Carrington’s actions showed he is a serious danger to children as he believed he had arranged a meeting in which he would carry out the sexual abuse of a child. 

"What is additionally concerning is that Carrington occupied a great position of trust in his medical role, and although he knew what he was doing was utterly wrong, he carried on. 

"I’d like to thank the officers from the NWROCU for their guidance and support in what was a partnership approach to capturing an online predator.

"I would also like to give mention to the team at the Royal Free Hospital, who fully cooperated with the police investigation throughout."

At the time that Carrington was arrested, he was still employed in his role at the Royal Free Hospital.

He was suspended from the NHS unit as soon as the hospital's senior management team were made aware of the incident, and officers have found no evidence to link the offences to Carrington's responsibilities at work.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Buckthorpe, of the NWROCU, worked with DS Miller from Hertfordshire.

He said: "We welcome the sentencing of Mark Carrington and hope that the public feel safer in the knowledge that this sexual predator, who was a significant risk to children, is now behind bars.

"Law enforcement operates across the internet and we will use every tactic and technological advancement available to ensure people cannot and do not get away with the terrible crimes they have committed. 

"I would urge anyone who has been a victim of child abuse, or thinks a child is being abused, to contact police immediately on 101, where a report can be made in confidence."