WHISTON Hospital will aim to swiftly conclude their internal investigation into a senior doctor who groped two nurses.

Dr Vijay Mahendran was convicted of seven offences of sexual assault on two nurses at Liverpool Crown Court earlier this week.

He received a 12 month jail term suspended for 18 months and ordered him to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and 60 days rehabilitation activities.

He also has to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which immediately suspended Mahendran following the allegations, had to stop their internal investigations while the case went through the court system.

Now he has been sentenced, hospital bosses have stated that their internal proceedings will be concluded imminently.

A Trust spokesperson said: “Following allegations raised against him, the Trust immediately suspended Dr Mahendran from his full clinical duties.

"The Trust was advised by the police to halt its internal proceedings until after their investigation and subsequent court case concluded.

“The Trust’s internal process will now be concluded imminently.”

Sentencing Dr Mahendran earlier this week, Judge Denis Watson, QC, said: “You were in a position of authority which you completely betrayed and abused.

“Despite your clinical ability you have a deeply flawed sense of what is acceptable sexual conduct at work.

“You took advantage of the fact that as a doctor your position is one where you were highly regarded and respected by everyone and you abused that position as a senior doctor at your hospital.

“You knew perfectly well that the culture where you worked meant it was extremely difficult for a nurse to complain about a doctor if that nurse felt the conduct was either over-familiar or carrying out what I regard as blatant sexual harassment and assault.”

The 53-year-old has two previous convictions for common assault and battery, one involving rowing with his then-wife and while bending her backwards over the bathroom sink holding a pair of scissors to her stomach and threatening to kill her.

He received a conditional discharge for that offence in 2007 and was fined £2,000 in 2014 for hitting a young child, resulting in facial bruising.

The court heard that Mahrendran, of Score Lane, Childwall, Liverpool, is likely to be struck off by the General Medical Council.

Judge Watson directed that a copy of his sentencing remarks is sent to the GMC, saying: “If I knew he was never going to work with female staff again that would be giving more comfort.”

After hearing that he has shared parental responsibilities for his two young daughters and is regarded by the probation service as representing a low risk of re-offending, the judge said that the offences were so serious there had to be a custodial sentence but he would suspend it.

Christopher Stables, prosecuting, told how six of the offences involved one nurse, who had been subjected to dozens of similar incidents.

The other offence involved another nurse whose buttocks he slapped and made an offensive remark.

He described the circumstances of the earliest offence as “really quite shocking”.

The nurse and colleagues were dealing with a cardiac arrest victim, who it was thought was unlikely to survive, in the ‘Resus’ department.

She brought the immediate family to the patient’s cubicle and was stood by the patient’s head while the position was being explained.

Mr Stables said: “Whilst this was taking place, and in the cubicle area, the defendant put his hand on to her buttocks. He kept it there, and he squeezed her buttocks. In that situation, as you can imagine, there was very little she felt she could do.”

One of the nursing sisters saw what was happening and "dragged" him out of the cubicle and "gave him what for", the court heard.

After that victim finally went to police and was asked how many incidents there had been she estimated probably 50 over the previous five years and described him as ‘touchy-feely”.

The other offences involved him grabbing and squeezing her bottom, telling her "Your lips are dead juicy; I’d love to suck on them".

Jonathan Duffy, defending, who produced many references, said that the doctor still denies the offences but respected the jury’s verdicts.

“He understands whatever happened he was guilty at the very least of a terrible error of judgement which has had catastrophic consequences for him and for the two victims.

“He understands how they feel and apologises.

"It will have catastrophic consequences for his vocation. He will almost inevitable lose his job and probably be struck off by the General Medical Council."