Leading cardiologist and academic Professor Andrew McGavigan is facing a jail sentence after pleading guilty to two child exploitation crimes.
Leading cardiologist and academic Professor Andrew McGavigan is facing a jail sentence after pleading guilty to two child exploitation crimes.

Top Adelaide cardiologist admits child exploitation crimes

A prominent Adelaide cardiologist and academic has pleaded guilty to two counts of accessing child exploitation material on his first appearance in court.

Professor Andrew McGavigan, 48, of Hawthorn, pleaded guilty to two counts of accessing child abuse material using a carriage service in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

One of those charges relates to possessing child abuse material "in the form of data" on a computer or storage device.

The offence occured between September 7 and December 7 last year and each offence carries a maximum 15-year jail term under Commonwealth law.

McGavigan's registration as a medical practitioner has been suspended by the Australian Health Practitioner Authority.

An SA Health spokeswoman confirmed in January that a clinician had been arrested and charged but after McGavigan's guilty plea today said "we are unable to comment on matters relating to the employment of individuals or matters currently before the courts".

McGavigan was arrested in December following a tip-off from the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation.

His arrest was part of a fortnight-long sting involving four South Australians who have been charged by the Joint Anti-Child Exploitation Taskforce, which is made up of state and federal police.

On December 7, McGavigan's house was searched by police who allegedly located a mobile phone containing child exploitation material.

At the time of his arrest, police alleged they had linked McGavigan to an online account which was transmitting "multiple child abuse material files".

Police also alleged they had located "records of communication between him and another person about allegedly engaging in sexual activity with children in Thailand".

After his arrest, McGavigan was still listed on the Flinders Medical Centre Cardiology Clinic and his online profile listed his practice locations as Bedford Park, Adelaide and Mount Gambier. However, he no longer appears on the FMC website and his online profiles have now been deleted.

An online profile on a cardiac surgery website says McGavigan graduated from the University of Glasgow, had worked as a specialist at Flinders Medical Centre since 2007 and was director of cardiac electrophysiology and pacing for the Southern Area Local Health Care Network.

He is the author of more than 50 clinical papers, reviews and book chapters, and was a board member of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

McGavigan was remanded on bail to appear at a pre-sentence hearing in the District Court in April.


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Also arrested as part of the police crackdown was a 58-year-old northern suburbs man charged with uploading child exploitation material.

He was arrested following a tip-off from the United States' National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

A 30-year-old man from the northeastern suburbs was charged with making a child amenable to sexual activity.

A 31-year-old man was arrested on December 17 and charged with eight offences, including child grooming offences and possessing child exploitation materials.

He had been arrested in February 2020 on other child sexual offences but was charged with additional crimes after his electronic devices were reviewed. Police allege he recorded himself abusing two children. That man was refused bail and will appear in court later this year.

Originally published as Top Adelaide cardiologist admits child exploitation crimes