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A disgraced Royal Navy doctor convicted of child porn offences will be allowed to keep his job. Dr Stuart Ruthven, 28, from Flixton in Greater Manchester, was convicted of 12 counts of making indecent photographs at Manchester Crown Court last September after he admitted to downloading approximately 5,000 images of child abuse from 1999 until his arrest last year.

This week an eight-hour General Medical Council (GMC) hearing allowed him to continue to practice medicine - under close supervision - despite his admission of a "sick desire" to view depraved images online, Manchester Online reports. Ruthven, who will remain on the sex offenders register for the next four years, has been banned from working with children under 16. Medical regulators passed an order preventing him working as a general practitioner (family doctor) on his own for at least two years.

The order allows Ruthven to continue to work as a medical officer at HMS Drake naval base in Plymouth. Ruthven joined Royal Navy on a six-year commission in 2001. His illicit online activities were traced after he used his credit card to pay for access to a child abuse website. ®

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