Former GP partner is jailed for 10.5 years for sexually molesting patients over two decadesBMJ 2019; 365 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l2264 (Published 20 May 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l2264
A former senior partner in a GP practice who sexually molested patients over two decades in the guise of medical examinations has been jailed for 10 and a half years.
Alan Tutin, 71, targeted women and girls who consulted him for minor ailments such as a wart on a foot and a cold, asking them to strip off for unnecessary breast or internal examinations at his Merrow Park surgery in Guildford, Surrey, between the early 1980s and 2003.1
The father of four was convicted of indecent assaults on 15 women and girls at the practice, where his wife Angela was also a partner. He was acquitted of seven counts of indecent assault and one of assault by penetration and was cleared after a retrial on another three charges of indecent assault.
Jailing him at the Old Bailey in London, Judge Nigel Peters said, “There cannot be a more serious abuse of trust that these courts have to deal with than that of a doctor and a patient.”
A 12 year old girl who had symptoms of a cold was seeing the GP unaccompanied because her mother had died a few months earlier. Other patients who were assaulted included teenagers seeking advice about the pill, and women consulting him about a mole and water retention.
The court heard that he tried to unbutton the blouse of one patient, telling her, “Go and stand over there and take all your clothes off. I like Chinese women.”
Tutin was originally put on trial at the Old Bailey in 2000, charged with indecently assaulting three women, a teenage girl, and a boy. He was acquitted of molesting the boy and the other charges were dropped.
Allegations about his conduct were first brought to the General Medical Council in 1999. “At the time, there was insufficient evidence to support suspension or erasure, but we imposed restrictions on his practice, making it clear he should use a chaperone, and he was formally warned about his conduct in 2003,” a GMC spokesperson said.
Tutin carried out a further assault in 2003. “When further evidence emerged in 2005 we took action to suspend the doctor’s ability to practise while police investigations took place,” the spokesperson added. He was struck off the medical register in 2009 after another GMC hearing.
Surrey Police reopened their criminal investigation in 2013, sending out letters to thousands of former patients in search of possible victims.