Perverted Sheffield physio sexually assaulted women during massages

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A Sheffield physio sexually assaulted three women while performing massages, a tribunal heard.

David Clay, aged 70, touched the women intimately at his physiotherapy and exercise clinic on Upperthorpe, in Upperthorpe, Sheffield.

He struck twice in 1995 but practised freely for 14 years until he attacked a third patient in 2009, the Health and Care Professions Council tribunal heard.

The council found Clay was not fit to practice and kicked him out of the profession.

Clay was convicted of two counts of indecent assault and one of sexual assault at Sheffield Crown Court last October.

He was sent to prison for two years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

One of his victims said at the time that she did not know if she should say anything as she thought it ‘must be alright because my doctor referred me to him’.

Victoria Young, for the HCPC, told the tribunal: “At the time of the incidents Clay was practicing as a physiotherapist in Sheffield.

“There were three service users on three separate occasions seeking treatment and expecting a physiotherapist to give the appropriate treatment.

“Instead they suffered indecent and sexual abuse to the extent that they thought it must be okay as their doctor had referred them and he was a registered physiotherapist.

“This was clearly a gross abuse of a physiotherapist’s position and abuse of the trust of the service users.”

HCPC panel chair Jennifer Rogers said: “The panel noted that the offences took place over a long period of time and were all committed on patients in the course of the registrant’s practice as a physiotherapist.

“The registrant abused the trust placed in him by three separate female patients.

“The panel believes a striking off order was appropriate.

“The matters in which the registrant was convicted were of such seriousness that they are incompatible with him remaining on the register as a physiotherapist.”