Investigation after claims doctor assaulted Sunderland women during medicals for Barclays Bank

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DETECTIVES are investigating whether a doctor sexually assaulted a number of Sunderland women as he carried out company medicals.

Northumbria Police have said they are investigating allegations that Newcastle medic Dr Gordon Bates gave hundreds of Barclays Bank staff unnecessary intimate examinations.

The claims go back as far as the 1970s, with one alleged victim saying that the uncovering of the Jimmy Savile scandal last year encouraged her to come forward.

Dr Bates, who was a GP in Newcastle and not an employee of Barclays, died in 2009.

More than 20 alleged victims have now come forward in the past few weeks and the Echo understands some are from Wearside.

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm we are currently investigating a number of reports of sexual assault dating back to the 1970s and 80s.”

A Barclays spokesman said: “Barclays recently became aware of an allegation about a GP who conducted pre-employment medicals.

“The information was immediately shared with Northumbria Police, who are currently investigating the allegations.

“Barclays is doing all it can to help the police inquiry and to support employees involved in this sensitive investigation.”