A RESPECTED heart surgeon who saved the lives of people in Southampton was found with thousands of extreme pornographic images, including hundreds of children.

The career of Dr Ahmed Sayed who worked at at Southampton General Hospital, is today in ruins.

It comes after police found numerous videos depicting child abuse, including one which involved a baby boy aged between six and nine-months-old.

Sayed, 40, developed a “morbid curiosity” for the explicit material. a court was told.

Southampton Crown Court also heard that he was responsible for the distribution of the images, with hundreds downloading material he put on a website.

In total, when officers searched his home, he was caught with 5,177 extreme photographs as well as 84 moving images in category A, as well as hundreds more in lower categories.

Victoria Hill, prosecuting, said that when Sayed was challenged by officers about the images he originally said that he had only downloaded the images the day before.

However, when his devices were searched it was found his offending started on May 26, 2016 and continued until he was caught on April 20.

She said: “On March 20, police became aware of two IP address which were being used and tracked back to Sayed.

“He was using a website called eMule and on numerous occasions his videos were downloads.

“In one instance 15 moving images were downloaded 61 times.”

In some of the images, the children involved were in discernible pain, she added.

Sayed was dismissed from Southampton General Hospital following his arrest.

He has subsequently been suspended from the Medical Register and is not allowed to practise as a doctor in the UK.

The court heard that Sayed had moved to the UK five years-ago after training to be a heart surgeon in his native Egypt.

He graduated from Cairo University in 2001 and was a registered doctor in the UK by 2010.

Mitigating, Keely Harvey told the court that Sayed started working in Southampton to try and progress within his career as a surgeon but due to financial struggles he became interested in pornography.

She said: “It seems to be that when he has this stress he goes back to what he has done when he was a child and would download things from the internet.

“He developed a morbid curiosity with the pornography.”

At an earlier hearing, Sayed pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent photographs of children, extreme pornography and prohibited images of a child, as well as distribute indecent photographs.

Sayed, who’s address cannot be given out for legal reasons, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years.

A sexual harm prevention order was signed and will be in place for the next 10 years.

Following the sentence, a spokesperson for University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said: “Dr Sayed was suspended immediately when the trust was made aware of the allegations against him and subsequently dismissed at a hearing in June 2017 which he did not attend.”

It added that he was never unsupervised with children during his time with the organisation.