Shefford doctor accused of molesting more than 20 female emergency services recruits
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A doctor has been accused of molesting more than 20 female recruits to the emergency services during breast and hernia examinations.
Dr Robert Lewis – who is a GP at the Larksfield Surgery in Stotfold – allegedly rubbed one woman’s breasts as if he was ‘polishing headlights’ and was described as ‘being like a 14-year-old boy grabbing his first pair of boobs’.
The 50-year-old, of Northbridge Street in Shefford, has pleaded not guilty at Luton Crown Court to 36 charges of indecent assault between 1999 and 2003, and one charge of sexual assault in May 2009.
Mark Fenhalls QC, who opened the case for the prosecution yesterday, said: “The indecent assaults took place in the context of a medical examination. Sometimes a nurse was present in the room, on the other side of a modesty screen.
“The assaults were subtle and carefully designed by the defendant to appear as part of the examinations.
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“The defendant was taking advantage of young women who were desperate to pass the medical and give themselves the best possible chance of getting a job.
“He was a man who deliberately targeted those who had come to him and trusted him to perform a required medical and did so under the guise of his expertise.
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“Dr Lewis used the pretext of breast examinations and hernia checks to provide cover for the assaults he committed.”
One woman – who was 26 at the time and hoping to be an ambulance technician – told a jury yesterday that Dr Lewis fondled her breasts and put his hand in her knickers during a medical at a Hitchin surgery on December 7, 1999.
She said: “He asked me to strip to my underwear. He came to the examination table and asked me to lie there.
“He asked me to lie back. He put his hands through my bra strap and pushed his hands under my bra onto my breasts.
“He barely spoke to me in the examination. He was arrogant and rude. At no time when he moved my knickers did he explain what he was doing.
“I felt embarrassed. I just wanted it over. I was there in my underwear with his hand down my knickers.
“It wasn’t pleasant. He left his hand there for a couple of seconds.”
The case – which is expected to last for six weeks – continues.