Beds, Herts & Bucks

Stotfold GP Robert Lewis jailed for groping patients

Dr Robert Lewis Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Dr Robert Lewis, 51, was convicted in November 2015 of four charges of indecent assault against three victims between 1999 and 2003

A GP who molested young women recruits to the ambulance service during breast and hernia examinations has been jailed for two and a half years.

Dr Robert Lewis, 51, was convicted in November of four charges of indecent assault against three victims between 1999 and 2003.

He was struck off after being convicted of the offences at his first trial.

The former doctor, of Northbridge Street, Shefford, was cleared of eight counts on Friday.

Luton Crown Court heard Lewis carried out the assaults on the three women at the Larksfield Surgery at Stotfold, near Hitchin.

He used the "veneer" of genuine examinations to act inappropriately against the women who wanted to join Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire ambulance service, jurors were told.

The women all said he used both hands to squeeze, fondle or grope their breasts. One said he also put his hand inside her underwear during a hernia examination.

'Harms trust'

Dr Lewis said the examinations were all carried out in a "decent and honest manner".

His barrister Paul Jarvis said Lewis had "treated thousand if not tens of thousands of patients" and was "not a wicked man".

Judge Kay said: "Every time a doctor is convicted of offences likes these it harms the public trust in the profession.

"These young women were desperate to get a job with ambulance service. They wouldn't complain as one put so as not to rock the boat."

In total, Lewis was acquitted of 39 of the 43 charges he faced.

He must also register as a sex offender for ten years.

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