Burgled surgeon says patient records safe

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 12/01/2013

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A New Plymouth orthopaedic surgeon whose premises were burgled after Christmas says confidential patient records were never at risk.

John Pennington, of Noradene at 85 Vivian St, said his portable hard drive was stolen but the burglars could not have accessed patient files.

The stolen hard drive and two other computers in his office were all hardware and software encrypted and had fingerprint readers on them.

"Without my fingerprint and password they can't access them at all."

Neither of the two computers in the office were touched during the burglary, Mr Pennington said.

The doctor spoke out yesterday in order to put his patients' minds at ease, following the publication of the burglars' story.

Mr Pennington said patients may have mistakenly thought their records could have been accessed by the burglars.

One of the burglars, Troy Gilchrist, 21, pleaded guilty in the New Plymouth District Court this week and was sentenced to 18 months' jail.

Another two 19-year-old suspects are yet to be dealt with by the court.

Police tracked down the three, who were squatting at a nearby property, within two hours of them getting into Noradene, Mr Pennington said.

The same trio allegedly broke into other buildings, including St Joseph's Church.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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