Smith pleaded guilty in Brisbane Supreme Court to possessing child porn, using the internet to access child porn, and making child porn available to others on the internet.

He had been released on parole less than a month before. Smith was sentenced to two years jail, to be released after 10 months, and three years probation.



Pedophile doctor was heading for NSW


October 14, 2009

AN AUSTRALIAN doctor jailed in Bulgaria for more than five years for pedophilia and setting up a child porn network had applied for a job in pediatrics at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle a month before he was arrested.

Joseph Lee Smith, 36, who was born in Canberra, applied for the NSW job as a senior doctor in pediatrics in October last year, but was arrested in November in the Black Sea city of Varna, where police found him in a rented apartment with two boys, believed to be from a nearby Roma neighbourhood. Police seized a camera, a video camera, CDs, sex toys and sexual stimulants.

A police statement last year said Smith had sexual contact with three boys in the four days before his arrest.

He arrived in Bulgaria on a tourist visa in November last year after reportedly spending most of August in Varna.

He was on holiday at the time from his job as an intern at the Mater Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. Yesterday, a NSW Health spokesman confirmed Smith had applied for a job at John Hunter, but withdrew the application after police arrested him on pedophile charges. He said his application had not yet been processed.

Smith had not worked as a doctor in NSW, he said.

A spokeswoman for Varna’s County Court, Elena Bangieva, said Smith confessed at the closed-door court hearing on Monday to three charges of molesting underage children and creating pornographic materials. He was sentenced to a jail term of five years and five months. He is no longer registered in NSW.

It was not immediately clear if Smith’s lawyers would lodge an appeal against the sentence, which he is entitled to do within 15 days. Smith resigned from his position at the Brisbane Mater after he was arrested.

He had worked as an intern at the Mater Children’s Hospital and the Mater children’s emergency department from January 14, 2008, until October 2008.

A hospital spokesman said Smith was supervised and it was unlikely that he would have been in contact with children without a parent or other staff member present.

An investigation into his work at the Mater Hospital showed no work complaints.

Before that he was employed with Queensland Health from January 2007 at Nambour Hospital. He also worked at Queensland Health’s Gatton Hospital as part of the country relievers program from May 12 2008 to June 15, 2008.


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