Victorian surgical nurse Edgard Ramirez, 33, has had his nursing registration cancelled after he was found to have child abuse material on his personal devices at Melbourne Airport.

Ramirez posed as a 12-year-old girl named “Angel” in online chat rooms and social media to engage in sexual conversations and send child pornography images to other users. His crimes were discovered when he was stopped by Australian Border Force officers in Melbourne Airport in November 2018 after returning from a short trip to the United States.

He was found with more than 1000 files on his phone and iPad that related to child abuse material. Th material was described as “utterly cruel, depraved and shocking”, by senior members of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on Friday.

Ramirez has also been banned from working at any heath service where he would have access to or contact with children for a period of five years.

 Ramirez pleaded guilty to importing, accessing, and distributing child pornography. The nurse, who is currently working under a visa, may be deported back to the Philippines after he completes his sentence of three years.

VCAT members have acknowledge while Ramirez has not engaged in criminal conduct in his professional workplace, his conduct has breached the nurse’s code of conduct. The code of conduct recognises that vulnerable people, including children, must be protected from sexual exploitation and any physical harm.

The members said in their judgement, “Even if Mr Ramirez is to depart Australia in the foreseeable future, we intend that our determinations will deter him from reoffending … we also indent that our determination will deter other nurses from such conduct in the interests of maintaining professional standards and public confidence in the profession.”

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