Consultant cardiologist Dr Steven Burn, 53, was arrested after IT staff found 65 indecent images of children on his work PC while investigating if it had been infected by a computer virus.
Some of the children featured were said to be as young as seven, while Dr Burn had also downloaded Japanese "Hentai" animated pornographic images and made Google searches under the headings "bestiality", "little Asian girls", "little Japanese girls" and "beautiful little boys". When his computer was confiscated and analysed, specialists found it had 31 indecent images of children and 34 prohibited images of children. They included realistic 3D graphics of adults engaging in penetrative sexual activity with young girls.
At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, Dr Burn's excuse was that he had been struggling to obtain funding for the cardiology unit at the hospital, but his efforts were being hampered by NHS bureaucracy which he claimed left him "withdrawn, isolated and inadequate". He said he turned to trawling porn websites "to block things out".
The disciplinary panel said the doctor's fitness to practise was impaired - but suspended him 12 months after he pleaded to be allowed to resume his 28-year career, saying he would "rather die than reoffend".
Before his 12-month suspension expires, Dr Burn must attend a review hearing.