Doctor set to be struck off after branded danger to children


AN accident and emergency doctor who tried to entice two young girls into his car is set to be struck off.

A tribunal decided that Leslie Black Mitchell’s fitness to practise was “impaired” after he approached the 10- and 11-year-old.

The doctor, who worked in the A&E department of Stirling Royal Infirmary, has already been jailed and placed on the sex offenders register for life after appearing in court and admitting a breach of the peace.

In January 2010, the doctor asked the girls if he could tickle their legs after he approached them at a bus stop in Caronshore, near Falkirk.

In April the same year, a sheriff branded him a danger to children, and when his case came before the High Court in Edinburgh he was given an order of lifelong restriction, which means he will be supervised for life.

Mitchell, 59, now faces being barred from the medical profession at a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing.

Yesterday, he admitted his “fitness to practise” was impaired because of his conviction.

The hearing in Manchester, chaired by Prof. David Katz, is scheduled to last until the end of the week.

Mitchell is not present at the hearing but is represented by his solicitor.

Mitchell, from Falkirk, admitted engaging in similar behaviour as far back as the 1990s and trying to groom children for sex online since 2000, but he was not caught until 2010.

In January 2010 he approached the two girls, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and said they were “beautiful and attractive” and asked if he could tickle their legs.

One of the girls told her parents about the incident, and the police were contacted.

The doctor admitted a breach of the peace at Falkirk Sheriff Court, though his case was transferred to the High Court in Edinburgh because of its greater sentencing powers.

Sheriff Craig Caldwell said he posed a “significant” risk to young girls in particular.

High Court judge Lord Hardie told Mitchell: “The terms of the charge really don’t do justice to what was actually happening in this case.

“It became clear your intention was to ingratiate yourself with these two little girls, ultimately to take them away and have sexual intercourse with them.”

Lord Hardie continued: “It’s not so much what actually happened but what might have happened.”

Mitchell said he carried out his own “risk assessments” into being caught, and judged the “rewards” were worth it to go on offending.

The doctor said he feared girls older than 12 would “suss him out”.

He described himself as a “recovering paedophile”.

He was given a four-year minimum sentence as well as the order of lifelong restriction, which means he will be monitored on release.

But following an appeal in October last year, appeal judges cut his sentence by more than two thirds.

They said they had to take into account other test cases, and his solicitor, Murray Macara QC, said the sentence was “excessive”.

Any decision to release him lies with the parole authorities.

Mitchell’s bid to have the order for lifelong restriction removed was not successful.

The hearing continues.