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GP carried out sex attack on pregnant woman in surgery

PUBLISHED: 20:01 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:14 05 October 2010

THOUSANDS of women are being reassured by health bosses this week about the safety of their GP practice after a doctor was found guilty of sexually assaulting a young mum-to-be in his surgery.

By Gemma Collins

THOUSANDS of women are being reassured by health bosses in London's East End this week about the safety of their GP practice after a doctor was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 29-year-old pregnant patient in his surgery.

They are even being offered a chaperone when they see their family doctor.

Women at Stepney health centre-where Dr Michael St John practiced-have been offered a helpline to ring if they are worried.

The 58-year-old GP was suspended from the surgery in October, 2007, and now faces jail and being struck off.

FEEL SAFE

But health chiefs moved quickly after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting the mum-to-be to reassure women they are safe.

The NHS Primary Care trust for Tower Hamlets issued a statement soon after Tuesday's court verdict in which medical director Dr Douglas Russell said: "It is important patients feel safe at their GP practice and should be treated with respect and dignity."

St John, a medical practitioner for 32 years and a married man with a family, claimed the woman consented to his sexual conduct in his surgery.

But a jury at Snaresbrook Crown court convict him of sexual assault and assault by penetration.

UNFIT TO PRACTICE

Judge Timothy King said he was not fit to return to medicine and warned that the General Medical Council would strike him off.

The pregnant woman was examined Whitechapel's Haven centre for sexual assault victims, after the incident, where DNA from St John's saliva was found on her breast.

St John, from Cubitt Town on the Isle of Dogs, is due for sentenced on May 1.

Patients registered at Stepney health centre in Ben Jonson Road "who may have been affected or are concerned about the incidents reported" are being urged by the Primary Care trust not to contact the surgery directly, but to call 0345-602 6922, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

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