A disgraced doctor stole anaesthetics from Southampton General Hospital and abused them in front of his young son.

Paul Winwright resigned from his job at the hospital as an anaesthetist after the incident in April 2022, which saw his wife kick him out of the family home in Shirley.

His 10-year-old son, who is also autistic, came across his dad passed out with a jar in his hand and a needle nearby.

The 40-year-old carried on injecting himself afterwards while his son peered through a crack in the door, Southampton Crown Court heard.

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A few months after resigning, the medic broke into the hospital and stole more Propofol - a sedative that can be abused for recreational purposes.

Jailing him for 30 months yesterday, Judge Peter Henry said Winwright "took advantage of [his] position" to steal the drugs and that this was a "breach of trust".

Winwright began self-medicating due to mental health issues, including depression and PTSD, for which he was taking anti-depressants and was hospitalised twice.

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The court heard this was against a backdrop of pressures on the NHS during the pandemic.

The drug abuse put a strain on Winwright's marriage to his wife, leading to the breakdown of their relationship at the start of 2021.

The pair continued to live together but when she started another relationship he became abusive, threatening her and even installing cameras to keep track of who was coming to the house.

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During one incident she had been hoovering when he strangled her and on another occasion, he threatened her with a knife.

Speaking at his sentencing, she said Winwright had become "increasingly emotionally and psychologically abusive and controlling".

She added: "He is very intelligent and well-spoken. He is always very competitive particularly at work and enjoyed seeing others fail. 

"I feel ashamed of myself for allowing Paul's behaviour to go on for so long".

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On April 22, 2022, Winwright agreed to drive his estranged wife and their son to Weymouth for a holiday while he looked after their dog at home in Southampton.

But when they got there, their son said he wanted to go back with his dad.

Instead of taking him straight home, Winwright instead snuck into his workplace to steal more drugs from where they were securely stored while his son was asleep in the car.

After seeing his dad passed out, the boy called his mother who arranged a taxi to take him back to Weymouth.

Winwright had five or six doses of the drug that night, the court heard.

Following this incident, he moved to Castle Malwood Lodge, Minstead, and resigned from his job.

But on September 30 last year, he used his insider knowledge to bypass security and steal more of the medication.

Winwright pleaded guilty to burglary and theft by an employee but denied engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour and child neglect. A jury found him guilty of these charges.

The offences he was charged with took place between April 1, 2021 and the break-in on September 30.

As well as the prison sentence, Winwright was handed a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting his wife.

Mitigating, Jodie Mittell told the court that her client was of previous good character and committed the crimes due to a "significant deterioration of Dr Winrights's mental health". 

She said he has a "real determination to address his offending behaviour" and is remorseful. 

But Judge Henry said: "Your behaviour towards [your wife] does not indicate that you accept that you have behaved in that way at all.

"An immediate custodial sentence is inevitable in this case."

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Southampton General Hospital, has been approached for comment.