AN NHS radiographer who accessed the records of more than 200 female patients and pestered them for dates has been struck off.

Andrew Stewart, 35, used his position at hospitals in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire to look up the files of women. He used fake names to contact the patients he had been treating before hounding them with a string of messages on Facebook and WhatsApp in an attempt to instigate relationships with them.

The married father-of-one hid behind false profiles including Andy Smith and Jamie Scott to chat up women - calling them ‘hot’, ‘gorgeous’ and even complimenting one on her breasts. He also sent photos of himself and in one message told a woman he was mature “when it comes to pleasing women in bed”.

Stewart, of Fenwick, Ayrshire, denied getting sexual gratification from contacting the women and claimed he was “lonely” because he was working in the dark.

But he admitted obtaining personal data of 32 named women and others without a clinical or medical reason to do so at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

He also pled guilty to a further 16 charges of acting in a threatening and abusive manner to women he had contacted between March 2013 and August 2018.

Sheriff Thomas Millar sentenced Stewart to 200 hours of unpaid work and three years of supervision last August. He was also fined £600 and placed on the sex offenders’ register for three years.

Stewart was then hauled before the Health and Care Professional Tribunal Service (HCPTS) who ruled he had to be banned from the profession.

In an email, he told the panel: “I fully accept the allegations and as I have said from the very start I take full responsibility for my actions and understand the seriousness of the case.”

Stewart did not take any further part in the disciplinary proceedings against him. The shamed radiographer’s crimes were uncovered when a woman he had been messaging recognised him at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock and reported it.

A massive probe was launched within the NHS that led leading to hundreds of patients receiving letters saying that their data had been breached.

It was discovered that Stewart, who also worked at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, had even offered to tell one female patient the results of her MRI scan before she had spoken to her consultant. In total, he had accessed around 220 patient files illegally.

Stewart eventually gave evidence at a special hearing where he denied his actions were sexually motivated but Sheriff Millar decided they were.

In a written ruling, the HCPTS said: “The registrant misused private and confidential information of a significant number of patients to seek them out with a view to establishing a relationship with them in circumstances that would cause reasonable people fear or alarm.

“In doing so, he also breached the trust of those patients who had provided that information for the purposes of their medical investigations and treatment. By his conduct, the registrant has brought the profession into disrepute.”

They added: “The panel has not been provided with any evidence as to any reflection undertaken by him to demonstrate an understanding of potential impact on service users and/or on the profession.

“The registrant’s 18 criminal convictions concern very serious criminal conduct. The registrant has been culpable of a pattern of criminal conduct involving 16 female patients over a period of more than five years.

“The conduct was directly related to his work as a registered practitioner, was predatory, constituted repeated abuses of the trust placed in him as a practitioner, brought the profession into disrepute, breached fundamental tenets of the profession, and had the potential to harm those patients.

“Even now, there is a risk of repetition and the registrant has not attempted to persuade the panel that he would not engage in this unacceptable conduct were he to be allowed to resume registered practice.

“The panel has decided that a striking-off order would not be disproportionate in the circumstances and that a striking-off order is the necessary and appropriate sanction”

Following the court case, both NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Ayrshire and Arran confirmed Stewart no longer worked for them and apologised for the breaches of patient confidentiality.