Sex attack physio struck off

Visually Impaired John Mitchell appears at Sheffield magistrates with charges relating to sexual offences
Visually Impaired John Mitchell appears at Sheffield magistrates with charges relating to sexual offences
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Physio who abused young girls is struck off the professional register

A PHYSIOTHERAPIST from Sheffield has been struck off the professional register after he was convicted of sexually abusing young girls.

John Christopher Mitchell, aged 74, was jailed for 12 months last July by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court after he admitted eight offences against two young victims.

Now the Health Professions Council has struck him off after a fitness to practise panel found his offending “undermined public confidence in the profession and brought it into disrepute”.

The panel concluded: “Mr Mitchell’s fitness to practise is impaired by reason of his convictions.”

The hearing was told Mitchell, of Winster Road, Hillsborough, practised physiotherapy for nearly 20 years before moving into academic life.

Sheffield Crown Court was told at his original case he was a blind ex-Sheffield Hallam University academic, who had published several papers on disability rights.

Dermot Hughes, defending, said he had been a “decent, honest, generous, caring and compassionate man” for the vast majority of his life.

He said: “He has had an outstanding academic career. He has published dozens of works in relation to disability and ergonomics.”

The court heard Mitchell first abused the girls 11 years ago when one was aged eight and the other four.

Mitchell admitted four counts of indecent assault against the older victim and two of inciting her to commit an act of gross indecency.

He also admitted two counts of indecency against the younger girl and was jailed for 12 months and disqualified from working with children.He must also sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

The panel concluded: “The panel has considered all the available sanctions and has concluded the only sufficient and proportionate sanction to maintain public confidence in the profession is a striking off order.”