Disgraced Shefford GP is struck off

editorial image
0
Have your say

A doctor who abused his position of trust to sexually exploit three patients in his care has been struck off by the General Medical Council.

GP Robert Lewis, 51, of North Bridge Street, Shefford, was jailed for two-and -a-half years last year after being found guilty of four counts of indecent assault against a total of three victims, who were all referred to him to carry out pre-employment medical checks between 1999 and 2002.

He committed the offences during their medical examinations, abusing his position by using the situation to sexually touch his victims.

The General Medical Practitioners Tribunal found that Lewis (pictured)had brought the profession into disrepute.

In its summary the tribunal said: “Dr Lewis’ behaviour and subsequent convictions undermined both public confidence in the medical profession and the promoting and maintaining of proper professional standards and conduct.

“Aside from any consideration of insight and remediation in this case, the tribunal was satisfied that Dr Lewis’ conduct involved a sufficiently grave departure from what is expected of a medical practitioner, that a finding of impairment is justified on public interest grounds.”

After the court hearing last year Detective Inspector Scott Winton, said: “Robert Lewis carried out sickening offences against women who should have been able to trust him.

“His behaviour was made all the more repulsive by the fact he was in a position of authority.

“The victims in this case have shown incredible bravery in coming forward, and I would hope this case reassures all victims of sexual offences that we take every report – whether recent or historic – extremely seriously.

“This has been a long and complex investigation and I am pleased that this doctor has not managed to get away with his disgusting acts – despite what he may have believed for all these years.”

In a statement read out to the judge at the trial, one of Lewis’ victims described the impact the assault had on her. She said: “I clearly remember how I felt when I walked into his consulting room that day.

“I felt happy, confident and excited about my future prospects. I left feeling humiliated, having been assaulted by Dr Lewis.

“I remember feeling powerless, vulnerable, and ashamed.”

The statement went on to describe how the victim no longer had trust in male medical professionals and is wary about leaving her child alone with men.

The victim concluded: “I feel vindicated by the jury’s guilty verdict.

“Knowing that they believed me and that justice has been served will allow me, I hope, to finally move on. Dr Lewis knew what he did that day, the shame is his, not mine.”

Lewis was found guilty of the four offences in November 2015 and a jury were hung on further indecent assault counts.

Following a retrial in September, Lewis was found not guilty of eight further offences. There are no reports that the doctor abused any of his own regular patients at his GP surgery in Stotfold.

The tribunal also heard Lewis is now appealing, claiming his conviction is a miscarriage of justice.