Norfolk

Sex abuse Norfolk Police GP jailed for three more years

Dr Hugh Blaise O'Neill Image copyright Norfolk Police
Image caption The judge said Dr Hugh Blaise O'Neill was "a disgrace to an honourable profession"

A family doctor who is already in prison for child sex offences has been sentenced to a further three years for indecently assaulting police officers.

Hugh Blaise O'Neill, 62, had previously admitted indecently assaulting 13 mainly new female recruits, when he was medical adviser to Norfolk Police.

The police assaults took place between 1991 and 2001.

O'Neill had been jailed for 12 years in January 2015 for raping two girls between 1995 and 2002.

Prosecutors at Norwich Crown Court said there had first been complaints of assault made by police recruits in 1993 following medical examinations.

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Kate Davey, prosecution counsel, said little was done by Norfolk Police, and O'Neill, of Tasburgh near Norwich, carried on abusing females in a "gross and repeated" breach of trust.

She said: "A number of recruits had spoken to each other and to the authorities about what happened.

"Dr O'Neill was told about the claims in 1993, but no further investigations followed.

"It speaks volumes about his attitude that... he carried on abusing women for another nine years."

'A disgrace'

The force began investigating the crimes against its officers after O'Neill was jailed for the other offences, which related to two girls under the age of 14, but were not connected to his work as a GP at Horsford Medical Centre.

Sentencing him to the additional three years, Judge Anthony Bate said: "You are a disgrace to an honourable profession."

Michael Claire, defence counsel, said his client "continues to deny all matters, but has his own reasons for pleading guilty".

Norfolk Police said another force would carry out a professional standards investigation.

Outside court, Det Supt Kate Thacker said: "There are strong feelings among the victims and we will seek to support them."

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