A FORMER top children’s doctor from Leeds General Infirmary has admitted taking cocaine after he was caught on camera in a sting by a national newspaper.
Consultant paediatric neurologist Colin Ferrie appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court this morning charged with possession of the class A drug.
The court heard the 52-year-old, who practised in Leeds for 20 years, was filmed by covert recording equipment taking cocaine at the home of Scott Pendlebury, of Daisy Fields, Bradford.
Clare Evans, prosecuting, said the cameras had been installed after Pendlebury, 26, and his partner – who had known Ferrie for two years – contacted the Mail On Sunday newspaper in a bid to “expose” him as a drug taker.
The pair got in touch with the newspaper after reading about the case of Paul Flowers, the disgraced former Co-op bank chairman and Methodist minister, who was fined after admitting possessing drugs.
Miss Evans said: “Scott Pendlebury admitted his motivation was money. He was aware of the Paul Flowers case and was aware that money had been paid to a person who had exposed Paul Flowers.”
The Mail on Sunday installed the recording equipment and drugs were brought to Pendlebury’s home, where Ferrie was filmed on December 17 last year.
The newspaper subsequently published two pieces about the incident and handed evidence to West Yorkshire Police, but left out details about its sources.
However, the court heard Pendlebury’s involvement came to light in the ensuing investigation and he was arrested along with Ferrie.
Both men admitted possessing cocaine. A separate charge of possession of class C drug GHB was withdrawn.
Brian Dean, acting for Ferrie, said the doctor had since sought help for substance abuse.
Ferrie, of Waters Walk, Apperley Bridge, Bradford, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs. Pendlebury was fined £230 with £85 costs.
Ferrie resigned from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust after the allegations came to light.
He is currently subject to an interim suspension by the General Medical Council. The GMC said that would remain the case while its own investigation was carried out.