A SWANLEY GP who became addicted to pornography was struck off for taking indecent photographs of female patients as young as 18 months.

Dr Barend Delport, 56, collected more than 800 indecent pictures of patients for his own sexual gratification while he worked at The Oaks surgery in Nightingale Way between 2000 and 2012 He tricked victims into allowing him to photograph them or their children in a surgery which became a make-shift studio by telling them a series of lies.

The paedophile medic was jailed for a total of six years last September after pleading guilty to 26 offences at Maidstone Crown Court.

His crimes included sexual assaults on a patient as young as 18 months, a four-year-old and an adult with Asperger's Syndrome.

Judge Philip Statman had told Delport it was "difficult to imagine a graver breach of trust than has occurred in this case".

He said: "What you did, for utterly spurious reasons, was to use your position as a trusted GP to touch and photograph your victims giving your reason as a desire to help with clinical education and a report an allegation of bad practice at a hospital.

"The real sexual gratification was not necessarily then and there. It came about because you photographed your victims and thereafter were able to return to them for the purpose of your own sexual gratification."

Delport, currently serving his sentence in HMP Elmley, was not present or represented at his fitness to practise hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester on Thursday where the panel ordered he should be struck off the medical register.

Chairman Prof Jack Crane said: 'The panel is of the view that Dr Delport's offences are particularly serious due to their sexual nature and their repetition over a prolonged period of time.

'The acts that Dr Delport committed were deliberate and a complete abuse of his position as a doctor and some involved the sexual assault of vulnerable patients.

He added: 'Sexual misconduct seriously undermines public trust in the medical profession.

'In this case Dr Delport's conviction of a number of offences including sexual assault and the making and possessing of indecent photographs of children is particularly serious.

'In view of this, the panel considers that a period of suspension is neither sufficient nor proportionate.

'The panel is of the view that his conviction is so serious as to be fundamentally incompatible with his continuing registration as a medical practitioner.

'For these reasons, the panel has determined that erasure is the only proportionate sanction to protect patients and maintain public confidence in the profession.'

Delport told victims he would use the photographs to help with clinical investigations or training and even falsely told young mothers he was gathering evidence to use against negligent midwifes at Darent Valley Hospital.

The South African-born doctor was only snared in March 2012 after a mother complained he had taken a number of photographs of her daughter's privates when there was no reason to do so.

A written statement from Det Sgt Ian Wadey, of Kent Police said: 'There followed an investigation into photographs of a large number of patients as well as concerns about behaviour towards patients.

'A significant amount of pornography, including child pornography, was found on his home computer, some of which incorporated patient photographs he had taken.'

The hearing was told married Delport accepted he had an 'addiction to pornography'.

Despite admitting to the offences in court the panel was told that in recent correspondence with the GMC the shamed medic gives 'a rather confused explanation of how he came to plead guilty'.

Terence Rigby, representing the GMC, said: 'The doctor says 'I do accept the charges relating to downloading images. I don't accept any of the other charges made against me".'

Delport, formerly of Eynsford Rise, Dartford, was jailed for six years last September 9, placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely and made subject to a ten year sexual offences prevention order.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to indecent assault on a female, three counts of sexual assault on a female, two counts of sexual assault of a child under 13, sexual activity with a female child under 16.

The GP also admitted two counts of possession of an indecent photograph of a child, five counts of making indecent photographs of children and 12 counts of taking indecent photographs of a child.