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Damages awarded to Kent GP's sex victims

MORE than a quarter of a million pounds has been awarded to 16 former female patients of a disgraced Kent GP after he assaulted them.

Clifford Ayling travelled from his prison cell in Oxfordshire to Canterbury County Court today to hear he will have to pay compensation of between £5,750 and £33,000 to the group after he performed painful, unnecessary and sexually-motivated examinations in his Cheriton surgery and at hospitals around the Folkestone area.

The largest amount went to Jacqui Godden, from Ashford, whom Ayling assaulted during three years when he should have weaned her off addictive tranquilisers. Instead he used her need for regular presecriptions to take advantage of his vulnerable patient.

Judge William Poulton said the women had undergone unpleasantness, had been insulted and many were still suffering from psychiatric trauma. He noted that Ayling had shown no remorse or sorrow for what he had subjected them all to, using what he called his "thorough doctor defence".

The judge added: "If this case proves anything, then doctors orders must not always be followed without hesitation."

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