A Romanian doctor has walked free from court despite admitting carrying a stash of child abuse images as he arrived in Britain to work for the NHS.
Dr Ioan Boila, 55, was unmasked as a paedophile when the material was found in his car at Dover four years ago.
The A&E specialist skipped bail and fled to his homeland only to be tracked down and – eventually – extradited back to the UK last November to face justice.
The case has cost the British taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds. But this week a judge jailed Boila for only four months, meaning he was released immediately because of the time he spent on remand. He was also put on the sex offenders register for seven years.
At Canterbury Crown Court, Boila pleaded guilty to possessing and importing indecent and obscene images.
The maximum sentence for attempting to import indecent or obscene materials is seven years in jail. For possessing indecent images of children it is five years.
He will not be automatically deported because his sentence was under 12 months, but his career in medicine in this country is over because of his conviction.
He was stopped by Border Force officers as he drove his silver Audi off a ferry at Dover in January 2013.
In his car, officers found a large number of DVDs and VHS videos, which were seized, along with his phone, laptop and a computer hard-drive.
National Crime Agency investigators found they contained extreme pornography, including images of children being abused and animals being mutilated.
Boila said he was due to take up a lucrative role with the NHS as a locum after taking leave of absence in Romania. He ran the emergency department of a hospital 250 miles north-west of Bucharest.
The cost of investigating the doctor, extradition, detaining him on remand and bringing him to justice will run into tens of thousands of pounds.
Although the Romanian authorities bore the brunt of extradition proceedings, Boila was held in prison for four months, his defence lawyer was likely to be publicly funded and specialists were required to examine his sick collection.