Predatory former doctor who used drugs when targeting child victims jailed for life for sexual attacks

A FORMER doctor who used drugs to cajole his targets was branded a ‘monster’ by a judge before he was jailed for life for a string of ‘appalling’ against sex attacks on children and young people.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 4:37 pm
Robert Wells was handed a life sentence for sexual abuse on children and young people. Pic Sussex police

Predatory paedophile Robert Wells, 69, was handed a minimum term of 17 years at Hove Crown Court on Monday for a series of sexual offences against five young people in Brighton, West Sussex, Hampshire and the West Midlands around two decades ago.

He was struck off as a GP after committing sexual offences against young girls in Hampshire - landing him 15 years behind bars in 2004.

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His sentence on Monday followed convictions in July of two counts of indecency with a boy aged eight, and attempting to possess an indecent image of a child, all in West Sussex.

The paedophile had also previously pleaded guilty to 16 other offences including an indecent assault on a 15-year-old girl in West Sussex while supposedly conducting a 'pre-abortion' examination of her at his surgery.

He also committed an indecent assault on a woman, 18, in Coventry.

Two offences of rape, and seven offences of indecent assault on a girl aged nine, one in the West Midlands, the rest in Brighton, were also admitted.

He pleaded guilty to four offences of taking an indecent photograph of a child, all against the same girl, one in the West Midlands, the others in the Brighton area.

An indecent assault on a woman aged 18 in Southampton was also admitted. This was after he had already been convicted of sexual offences against her in 2004 in Hampshire. The Sussex police investigation uncovered new video evidence of him assaulting her, accessible because of new technical developments since then.

All the offences involved evidence that Wells used drugs to help ensure compliance in his victims.

Wells was already serving two sentences for sexual offences against other young people in Hampshire and South Wales as a result of separate investigations by those police forces.

Wells was a GP in Brighton and Hove until his arrest in 2003 and subsequent conviction and sentencing in 2004 to 15 years for sexual offences against young girls in Hampshire. He was struck off as a doctor after that case.

In April 2017 at Cardiff Crown Court he was sentenced to seven years for four indecent assaults against three young girls.

In sentencing, judge David Rennie called him a ‘monster’ before adding: ‘You turned out to be the stuff of and the creator of nightmares. You have done incalculable harm to a lot of people who trusted you, and your abuse went on for years.

‘What you chose to do to these survivors shows you have not the slightest concern for other people or the harm that you inflicted when you decided to carry out these crimes. Lives have been devastated. Your perverted sexual appetite appears to know no bounds.’

Det Con Owen Watkins, of Sussex police, said: ‘Wells was clearly a systematic and serial sexual abuser of young people, using his charm and air of professional distinction to lure them into a sense of false security, for his own gratification.

‘Only one of the victims was abused by Wells acting in his official capacity as a doctor, but the others came to know him, whether through family or work, because of his role and were clearly influenced by his status.

‘These convictions, and his previous convictions, show how his appalling record goes over many years and it is reassuring for his victims, and for the wider community to know that he is going to be in no position to continue preying upon innocent people for many years to come.

‘His victims in this case have given full support to the investigation. One of them, now in his thirties, gave evidence in court, and the others were ready to do so. We admire the strength and bravery shown by all of them, which was so crucial in ensuring that justice was done.

‘We are also grateful to our colleagues in the Hampshire Constabulary for the assistance they have given us in this complex investigation.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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