The High Court has quashed an appeal by a doctor whose registration was erased following inappropriate contact with a vulnerable patient.
In Roy v General Medical Council  EWHC 2659 (Admin) (25 October 2023), a Medical Practitioner’s Tribunal erased the doctor’s registration. The allegations were, as summarised, related to the doctor’s contact with Ms A, between October 2001 and October 2007, at a time when she was vulnerable due to being between 10 and 15 years old.
It was alleged that the doctor developed a relationship with Ms A when she was approximately 12 years old, initially via MSN Messenger. It is alleged that the relationship developed and went on to include sexual activity, falling short of sexual intercourse, but included simulated sex, intimate sexual contact and oral sex. It was the GMC’s case that the doctor pursued an improper emotional relationship with Ms A, and that his actions were inappropriate and sexually motivated.”
The doctor sough to appeal the decision on the grounds that:
“The decision of the Tribunal was wrong because it made an erroneous assessment of the central matter of credibility – because it did not have available to it the important evidence of Ms B (which affected the credibility and reliability of Ms A’s account).”
The reference to Ms B, as the transcript stated, is a reference to the fact that on 14 March 2023 an old school friend of Ms A, namely Ms B, made contact with Dr Roy’s solicitors, with information which counsel for the doctor, argued is of significant importance to the case. Ms B has provided the court with a witness statement dated 21 March 2023.
The parties are agreed that the Court must determine:
a) whether Ms B’s statement constitutes fresh evidence which should be received by the Court; and
b) If so, whether the decision of the Tribunal was wrong because it made an erroneous assessment of the central matter of credibility – because it did not have available to it the important evidence of Ms B which affected the credibility and reliability of Ms A’s account.
“It follows that whilst the Tribunal did indeed say that the issue of whether the GMC had discharged its burden of proof turned on the question of credibility and reliability of the respective evidence of Ms A and Dr Roy, that was to be determined against the background of any admissions by the parties; the contemporaneous documents; and any consistencies and inconsistencies in their evidence. That is precisely what the Tribunal went on to do: to test the evidence against those yardsticks. The consequence of that was that it did not believe Dr Roy’s account. I do not consider that it was wrong so to find; indeed, I consider that it was right so to find.”
Calver J went on to give further explanation for this conclusion, ultimately saying “…there is nothing in the statement of Ms B which calls into question the Tribunal’s findings of credibility, and it would not “probably have an important influence on the result of the case.””
“That is the position in the instant case, with or without the evidence of Ms B, and I accordingly refuse to allow Dr Roy to adduce the evidence of Ms B on this appeal. In these circumstances, it follows that, as Dr Roy concedes, the appeal must be dismissed.”
Disclaimer: The accuracy and information of news stories published on this website is accurate on the date of publishing. We endeavour to update stories if information change. You can contact us with change and update requests. Where possible, we will link to sources. Content on this website is for guidance purposes only. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.