Doctor still a threat to patients, UK misconduct hearing is told

A doctor who had a “frenzied, intense and potent sexual encounter” in his consulting room with a suicidal man still remains a threat to patients, a misconduct hearing in the UK was told.

Dr John Leahy, who qualified as a doctor in Galway in 1992 and has been a GP since 1996, was arrested after the “emotionally unstable” 28-year-old man walked out of his west London surgery and called the police.

When police first interviewed him Dr Leahy denied anything sexual had happened and claimed the patient was “out of his mind”, the General Medical Council (GMC ) heard. But after DNA samples were found on the man's t-shirt the doctor admitted things became passionate on the examination couch as he tried to comfort the crying man.

The patient, referred to as Mr X, had called the North End Road surgery in West Kensington, on May 19, 2006. He said he was suicidal after losing his job as an air steward, breaking up with his boyfriend and having to leave their shared flat. Leahy booked Mr X in for an appointment at 10.30am that day and the moment the young man came into the consulting room he became upset.

Stephen Brassington, for the GMC, said the doctor moved his chair to face Mr X, took his hand and stroked his leg. Leahy then put his arm around the patient, allowing him to rest his head on his shoulder. Leahy stood up and they kissed, the hearing was told.

“There was then a frenzied, intense and potent sexual encounter in which Mr X ripped off the doctor's shirt and they removed each other's clothes,” said Mr Brassington.

Afterwards Leahy tried to continue with the consultation, but the disturbed patient fled the surgery and called police. The worried doctor tried to call Mr X three times that morning but was told to leave him alone. He then went round to his house but was told to go away.

Dr Leahy was tried at Blackfriars Crown Court in 2007 for sexual assault, but was cleared after insisting Mr X consented to everything that took place. Leahy told the GMC he deeply regretted taking advantage of the man.

Leahy was suspended last year for 12 months after a hearing ruled he was guilty of an abuse of his position. At his latest hearing panel chairman Dr Peter Jeffreys said Leahy remained impaired despite the suspension. Dr Jeffreys said Leahy had failed to follow advice and see a psychologist on maintaining appropriate boundaries with patients.

Leahy must wait until later this year (date not decided ) before hearing if he is still suspended or has been given some lesser punishment.


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