Robert Wells – Cwmbran/Brighton/Southampton

April 2017

GP jailed after sexual abusing young patients while examining them

A doctor once regarded as “an upstanding pillar of the community” told parents to wait outside his consulting room while he sexually abused their children.

Robert Wells, 65, who is already serving a jail sentence, admitted four counts of indecent assault relating to his time as a general practitioner at Caerleon Surgery in the 1980s.

Speaking at Cardiff Crown Court, prosecutor Matthew Roberts said: “It is hard to imagine a more serious and grotesque breach of trust.”

The court heard Wells was a registered medical practitioner at the time, but has since been stripped of that title by the General Medical Council.

Prosecutors said the offences related to three girls, who were all patients of Wells at the time.

Mr Roberts said: “All three suffered sexual abuse as children under the pretext of medical examination.”

The court heard the three victims came forward after hearing about a previous court case involving Wells. He was jailed for 15 years in June 2004 after being convicted at Winchester Crown Court of nine counts of child sexual abuse – which happened after these offences.

Mr Roberts said: “He left South Wales in the late 1980s and went on to commit a series of depraved offences.”

Wells was found guilty in 2004 of two counts of rape, three counts of indecent assault and making an indecent image of an 11-year-old girl.

He was also found guilty of drugging and indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl and administering drugs to her five-year-old sister.

Mr Roberts said: “The bond of trust between a doctor and a patient must be sacrosanct.”

He said one of the girl’s mothers had made a complaint to Caerleon Surgery at the time, but it was “arrogantly dismissed”, as she was “told not to be so silly”.

The prosecutor described it as a “gross failing of the system in the 1980s”.

He told the court the defendant would ask the children’s parents to wait outside his consulting room while he examined them.

When he was arrested, Wells told police he had treated more than 600 patients during his career and could not remember each one individually.

He stated he had never sexually assaulted any of his patients.

Prosecutors said he refused to provide any handwriting samples to the police.

In a statement read out in court, one victim said: “He has destroyed my life.”

One victim said the abuse had affected her ability to form relationships and caused her to suffer from depression. Another described the ordeal as “terrifying” and said she had developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

The third stated the abuse had caused her to self-harm and attempt to kill herself.

She said Wells had been regarded as an “upstanding pillar of the community”.

The defendant, from Cwmbran, pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault after the case was listed for trial.

Ieuan Rees, mitigating, stressed that meant the victims did not have to give evidence.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins described the offending as a “gross breach of trust” and noted the effect on each victim had been “long-lasting and profound”.

He added: “In short, it was done for your own perverted sexual pleasure. It has destroyed their trust in the profession.”

Wells was jailed for seven years and an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order was imposed.

June 2004

Child rapist got bail to live near school

Paedophile police surgeon Dr Robert Wells was freed to live just a short distance from a Cwmbran primary school while he awaited trial for a string of sickening sex attacks on young girls, the Argus can reveal today.

And shocked parents have expressed their outrage that a man, described by police as a “premeditated and calculated paedophile”, was allowed to live in their community.

Today Wells was reported to be on 24-hour suicide watch at Bullingdon Prison, Oxfordshire.

On Tuesday 52-year-old Wells was jailed for 15 years for drugging, raping and indecently assaulting girls aged between 5 and 11.

Wells practised in Caerleon in the 1980s before being declared bankrupt after his extravagant lifestyle, which earned him the nickname the ‘Romeo doctor’, saw him run up debts of £1.5 million.

After Wells’ arrest in 2003 when he was living in Brighton and Southampton working as a forensic medical examiner, he was bailed to live at an undisclosed address in the Cwmbran area.

But we can reveal the house where he lived for a year while he awaited trial, was just a short distance from Hollybush Primary School and local nursery.

One mother said: “I was gobsmacked when I realised it was him. He has been living in our street for a year.

“I know people are treated like they are innocent until proven guilty, but surely this is not the right place for someone accused of the crimes he was.

“Now he has been convicted it makes you feel much worse.”

Gwent police said Wells had been kept under close supervision while he was on bail and stressed there had been no complaints about his behaviour.

But another mother of a Holybush school pupil, said: “There had been rumours that he had been accused of molesting youngsters. When something like this happens, it makes you think you just do not know who could be living in your community.

“I have young children and there are a lot of families living around here. It is hard to believe the authorities would allow someone like that to live right by a school and nursery.”

A Gwent police spokeswoman said: “Mr Wells was bailed to an address in the Cwmbran area. He was monitored closely for the period he was on bail including close supervision and a multi- agency risk assessment was carried out.

“We are extremely mindful of the potential concern of the people in the community and we have done our best to safeguard residents in the area where he resided. We have had no reports of any further incidents involving Robert Wells while he was on bail.”

There was no-one available to comment from Hollybush Primary School.

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