PERTH child psychiatrist Aaron Voon — arrested in Canada nearly three weeks ago on child pornography allegations — has been charged with possessing child exploitation material in WA. Dr Voon, 41, was arrested on Thursday night at Perth Airport after he had just touched down on a flight to Perth.
Search warrants were carried out at his home and Cockburn Central business, Successful Development and Therapy Centre, where he treats children with mental health issues.
“Based on the assessment of the material that is alleged to have been located in the man’s possession, no link has been established between that material and the children he works with,” a police spokeswoman said.
The well-known child psychiatrist, who lives in the affluent riverside suburb of Mt Pleasant, was charged with possessing child exploitation material and was held in custody by police overnight.
He appeared briefly in Perth Magistrates Court on Friday, where the charge was read to him, but he was not required to plead and was remanded in custody to appear again next Wednesday, June 15.
No application for bail was made. His next court appearance in the Canadian city of Edmonton was scheduled to be on June 16.
Dr Voon’s Perth lawyer Neville Barber declined to comment outside court, while a woman, believed to be a supporter of Dr Voon, also refused to say anything as she left court.
The Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team, a collaboration of state and federal police, searched Dr Voon’s home and business yesterday, seizing a number of electronic devices which allegedly contained numerous images classified as “child exploitation material.’’
His arrest in WA comes after he was charged in Canada on May 22 with child pornography, after allegedly filming a young boy on his mobile phone in a bathroom at an Edmonton movie theatre.
Dr Voon’s Successful Development and Therapy Centre in Cockburn Central closed when he was arrested in Canada.
Canadian police allege Dr Voon used a mobile phone to video a boy at a urinal in a public toilet and was charged with possession of child pornography, making child pornography and voyeurism.
Footage of Dr Voon being confronted by the boy’s father and others at the shopping centre emerged on social media and soon went viral.
After several days in custody in Canada he was granted bail by an Edmonton court — on strict conditions — but allowing him to return to WA.
“These investigations are complex and we have assigned a number of resources,” Edmonton Police staff sergeant Stephen Camp, of the internet Child Exploitation Unit, said in a statement.
Ashley Jackson, who was at the theatre with her son to watch the new Angry Birds movie and saw Dr Voon in the audience, said after the screening she watched the boy’s father confront Voon and take the phone off him.
“They were kind of having a little bit of a confrontation and he (the father) kept asking ‘Can I just see what’s on your phone?’,” Jackson told Canada’s Global News.
“The father kept putting up his hands and saying, ‘No, I need to see what’s on your phone — I think I saw you take a video’.
“Then the father of the boy kept saying to his wife ‘Well, what’s on the phone did you find anything?’’’
Dr Voon was released on $80,000 bail on the condition that he live at his Perth address; have no unsupervised contact with any person under 18 and not attend a public swimming pool.
It was revealed on Thursday that Dr Voon had provided an undertaking to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency not to practise medicine until further notice.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists released a statement last week, saying it was “deeply concerned” by the Canadian allegations and in touch with Canadian and Australian authorities to obtain all relevant information.
Anyone with information about people involved in child sexual exploitation are urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000