Stotfold GP convicted of four indecent assault charges on female recruits to emergency services

Dr Robert Lewis. Credit: South Beds News Agency

Dr Robert Lewis. Credit: South Beds News Agency - Credit: SOUTH BEDS NEWS AGENCY 01582 572

A Stotfold GP accused of groping female recruits to the emergency services during breast and hernia examinations has been convicted today of four charges of indecent assault.

The 50-year-old, who is a GP at the Larksfield Surgery, has been on trial for four weeks at Luton Crown Court, but will have to wait until Friday, December 18, to learn whether the prosecution will continue with a retrial on six charges that the jury failed to reach verdicts on.

The court heard that Dr Lewis used the pretext of genuine examinations to act inappropriately, but in giving evidence the 50-year-old said the examinations were all carried out in a ‘decent and honest manner’ and that it would be normal for a nurse chaperone to be present.

The doctor – who lives in Northbridge Street in Shefford – originally pleaded not guilty to 37 charges against 23 women between 1999 and 2009.

During the trial Judge Michael Kay QC ruled the GP had no case to answer on 11 charges relating to eight women, leaving the jury to decide on 25 charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault against 18 women.

Today – after 20 hours of deliberation – they found him not guilty of 16 charges, guilty of four by majority verdicts and failed to reach verdicts on six charges.

Mark Fenhalls QC, prosecuting, said: “These women were not his full-time patients at his general practice.

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“They were all prospective or current employees of the ambulance or fire service, who were sent to him for the medical examinations.

“The indecent assaults took place in the context of a medical examination.”

Judge Kay remanded him on bail until Friday, December 18. If no retrial is to be held he will be sentenced, but the Judge gave no indication of what the sentence might be.