Updated: Saturday, 17th March 2018 @ 7:44pm

Family doctor's 'dark side' exposed: Altrincham man jailed over horrific rape and sexual abuse of schoolgirl, 10

Family doctor's 'dark side' exposed: Altrincham man jailed over horrific rape and sexual abuse of schoolgirl, 10

By Dave Toomer

A family doctor subjected a vulnerable schoolgirl to degrading sexual abuse from the age of 10 after secretly medicating her.

Dr Stephen Hamilton, 45, of Gaskell Road, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of 13 counts, including rape, sexual assault and child cruelty.

Sentencing Hamilton to 18 years in prison, Judge Richard Mansell paid tribute to the victim who contemplated killing herself because of the abuse.

He said: "When she was 10 and before you abused her she had the brightest of futures - she was pretty, happy, vibrant, academically gifted, motivated and talented in other fields including sport, music and creative arts.

"It is only the skill and dedication of the professionals who have rebuilt the trust between her and the medical profession you so badly damaged - and the strength of character and moral fibre of this remarkable young woman - that has kept her alive, has given her the strength to give evidence and secure the justice she deserved - and has given her the chance of rebuilding her young life which you have so cuelly damaged."

Hamilton had secretly medicated the girl with citalopram, an anti depressant not licensed for children although the Judge Mansell accepted it had not harmed her and had earlier directed the jury to find Hamilton not guilty of administering a noxious substance.

The jury had been told he had put his hands around the girl’s neck and told her ‘you deserve to die’.

The offences took place over two-and-a-half years between 2006 to 2009.

Dr Hamilton,  who was a GP and partner at Bolton’s Heaton Medical Centre, was arrested after the girl, who cannot be identified, complained to a teacher in November 2011.

The girl told the police the GP would ‘restrict her breathing’ and ‘taunted her’ as he raped her and said she was to blame for the abuse.

And the victim said she suffered ‘nightmares’ about Hamilton because of the abuse. She described him as ‘very manipulative.'

The court was told he controlled his victim, threatening to prove she was mentally ill if she ever told anyone about the abuse.

Hamilton, who was described by defence witnesses as a dedicated and caring doctor, claimed the girl had imagined the abuse.

Judge Mansell told Hamilton, who shook his head in the dock: "Your qualifications, your intelligence and your gentle manner with patients have all provided you with a cloak behind which you have hidden a very dark side to your character, well and trully exposed during the course of this trial."

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