A former GP from Guildford who repeatedly abused his position to sexually assault patients at his surgery is facing 10 and a half years behind bars after he was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court in London today (17 May).
Alan Tutin, 71, of Crittenden Road, Matfield, Tonbridge, Kent, was found guilty of 15 counts of sexual assault on 14 December 2018 following a ten-week trial at the Central Criminal Court in London.
The offences took place between 1981 and 2004, with the majority committed at the Merrow Park Practice in Guildford where Tutin had practised as a GP since 1980. He abused his position as a doctor to assault the women who were patients at the surgery aged between 12 and 46 years old. Most of these assaults were committed under the guise of breast or vaginal examinations, which were either completely unnecessary or medically justified but carried out in a totally inappropriate way for sexual gratification.
This investigation began in March 2014. He was arrested in July 2014 and released under investigation. Due to the size and complexity of the investigation, he was interviewed over an extensive period and a number of times.
A number of complainants came forward as a result of being contacted by the police. Further witnesses were interviewed and following a lengthy and complex investigation, he was charged with 27 counts of sexual assault involving 25 complainants.
Victim statements read out in court today described the trust they had placed in Tutin as their doctor and the violation they felt after he took advantage of that position.
One of the victims said: “My initial response was a sense of being abused, violated and feeling dirty, and wanting a shower.”
Describing how Tutin took advantage of her age and her naivety, another victim said: “I was only young so was upset and confused by what he did. I trusted him as a doctor and was brought up to respect authority and do as I was told, which is what I did.”
Another explained that the worst thing about what Tutin had done to her and others was “how he had been able to commit a crime by using the cover of a doctor and a medical procedure”.
Describing how she felt after what she believed to be a routine appointment, one of the victims said: “In the immediate aftermath of what Tutin did to me I felt confused, embarrassed and nauseous and a feeling of revulsion about what had happened.”
Tutin was also described as a “predator”, by another of his victims, who said her ordeal had left her never being able to trust a male doctor again.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Haycock, who was in charge of the investigation said: “Alan Tutin completely abused his position to sexually assault his female patients of a variety of age ranges over a long period of time. This was a gross breach of the trust that they placed in him as a doctor. Whilst there had been previous proceedings and investigations, we were committed to a thorough and meticulous investigation to reveal the true extent of his offending.
“I have nothing but praise and respect for the victims and everyone who has come forward and given us their accounts and evidence. I want to pay particular recognition and admiration to those who have had the courage to give evidence against Tutin in court. Many of them did not come forward at the time because they were embarrassed or were unwilling to complain for fear their allegations against a doctor would not be believed.
“I hope that the sentence handed to him today has given them, and others in a similar position, the confidence that even if you are making allegations against a person in a position of trust or authority and even if these allegations happened a long time ago, you will always be taken seriously and a thorough investigation will always be carried out. I also hope that the guilty verdicts will allow Tutin’s victims and all those affected by this dreadful set of events to put this ordeal behind them and finally get on with their lives.”
DCI Haycock continued: “This has been a lengthy, complex and challenging investigation over five years. I am very proud of the small team of officers in Surrey Police’s Complex Abuse Unit and would like to thank and commend them for working tirelessly on this case to ensure that Tutin was brought to justice for his indefensible crimes.”
*Alan Tutin was found guilty of 15 of the 27 counts following a trial at the Central Criminal Court in London. Of the remaining 12 counts, he was found not guilty of seven and the jury was unable to reach a verdict in relation to the other five counts.
A second trial was held in relation to three of these, which concluded on Tuesday (14 May), at Blackfriars Crown Court in London after three weeks, with the jury finding Tutin not guilty of all three counts.