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London - A churchgoing family doctor had an affair with a patient after grooming her with intimate hugs at his surgery, a medical tribunal heard on  Tuesday.

Dr Alan Lees, 64, began dating the woman after giving her cuddles during appointments and claiming they would ‘make her feel better’, it was alleged.

The mother of one said she fell ‘madly in love’ with the married GP during their two-year affair in which they regularly met for sex. She said the father of three once gave her a prolonged kiss on the cheek in front of fellow parishioners at the local church, where he played the organ and sang as second bass in the choir.

The lovers also swapped up to 40 texts a day, with Lees turning up at her home for sex before heading off to surgery, it was alleged. The illicit romance began after Lees, of Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, began treating the patient in 2010 at Ashby Turn Primary Care Centre, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard.

The woman – Patient A – was suffering headaches following the death of her mother, General Medical Council lawyer Elizabeth Dudley-Jones told the Manchester hearing. Miss Dudley-Jones said: ‘Patient A remembers Dr Lees asking her if a hug would make her feel better and she said, “No not really,” but he said “I’m going to hug you anyway”,’ and did.

After that, Patient A said Lees embraced her during every appointment.

The tribunal heard Patient A left Lees’ surgery in August 2015 after she moved house. She met him for coffee after he texted her, and they began a regular sexual relationship.

Lees allegedly claimed he was going to leave his wife, before changing his mind and cooling off the relationship with Patient A in July 2016. He later went to her house and told her he missed her, and they resumed their sexual relationship, the tribunal heard. In May 2017, Patient A saw Lees drive to a house and knocked on the door, where another woman answered.

The patient said Lees had abused his position of trust when she was at a ‘low ebb’, adding: ‘I was attracted to him and he wrecked my life.’

Lees has since retired and did not attend the fitness to practise tribunal, but could be suspended or struck off the medical register if found guilty of misconduct – which would prevent him returning to medicine in the future.

A letter read to the tribunal said he accepted the relationship had been ‘wholly inappropriate’, but denies his actions were inappropriate at work. He also denies kissing the patient at the Christmas concert. The hearing continues.

Daily Mail