A FIFE GP who touched a woman's bottom and asked to see her breasts has been suspended for nine months for sexual harassment.

Dr Sunil Kumar Sahu was working as a family doctor when he pestered the female colleague, known only as Ms A, for an affair and on another occasion suggested they could be "friends with benefits".

A tribunal found that he sexually harassed the woman while already subject to a warning for "failing to maintain a professional boundary" with a patient.

Dr Sahu had admitted asking Ms A to show him her breasts and was found to have kissed her and touched her bottom without her consent.

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The incidents occurred between January and August 2022.

A fitness to practise tribunal concluded that Dr Sahu's action's "constituted unlawful sexual harassment" by engaging in "unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which had the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of Ms A, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for Ms A".

Central Fife Times: Dr Sunil Kumar Sahu pestered a female colleague for an affair and also suggested they could be friends with benefits.Dr Sunil Kumar Sahu pestered a female colleague for an affair and also suggested they could be friends with benefits. (Image: Newsquest)

The GP, who is now based in Lothian, has been suspended from practising as a doctor for nine months.

He has 28 days to appeal the ruling.

The tribunal hearings, which took place in Manchester and concluded on Friday, were told that Dr Sahu admitted having asked Ms A on January 6 2022 whether she would "enter into an affair" with him.

He also admitted that on August 11 2022 he had told her that he "really liked her" and "responded with words to the effect of ‘friends with benefits’ when Ms A said ‘So do I, but as a friend/colleague’".

On the same occasion, Dr Sahu admitted that he had "leaned towards Ms A's mouth" and "requested to see Ms A's breasts".

The tribunal also determined that during this same episode he had "kissed Ms A on her cheek without her consent", told her she had a "nice bottom", and "proceeded to touch her bottom without her consent".

Another allegation that he had touched Ms A "inappropriately" in June 2022 while performing a stomach massage was not proven.

The tribunal noted that his actions in January 2022 - when he asked Ms A to have an affair with him - had coincided with a period of time when his registration was already "subject to a GMC warning for failing to maintain a professional boundary with a patient".

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Dr Sahu qualified in medicine in 2003 at Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India. He had been on the GP register in the UK since 2008.

Doctors accused of wrongdoing are investigated by medical regulator, the GMC, who are then responsible for bringing their case before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).

It is up to the MPTS to determine whether a doctor's fitness to practise is impaired and what sanction should be imposed.

In severe cases, this can include doctors being permanently struck off - meaning they are no longer permitted to practise in the UK.