A LOVE-STRUCK doctor who sent romantic messages and flowers to woo a female patient in Runcorn has been suspended for a further 12 months.

Dr Chizoba Christopher Uzoh was found unfit to practise in May 2017 by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) and suspended for a year.

The 41-year-old, who worked as a locum GP at Murdishaw Health Centre, accessed the woman’s personal records to obtain her phone number and address.

A MPTS tribunal in Manchester found that the Nigerian born doctor's fitness to practise still remains impaired and decided it was necessary to suspend him for a further year after reviewing the case on June 5.

The single dad, who lives in Great Sankey, Warrington, told the tribunal he could not attend the hearing because he was unable to leave his two young children alone.

Last year the tribunal heard that the doctor accessed a female patient's medical records to obtain her personal details.

Dr Uzoh sent the patient a text after she attended an appointment with him on March 22, 2016.

The Nigerian born doctor told her: “I saw you and I liked you and thought maybe we could go on a date.

“I am single and looking for a serious relationship and not intending to mess about.”

The besotted doctor sent several texts, called her mobile phone and left voicemail messages, between March and May, 2016, the hearing was told.

He also posted a card with flowers to her home address, with a message saying: ‘My heart is pure, I care, I hope it would be possible to make you mine someday.”

Dr Uzoh continued to pursue the woman, referred to as patient A, after she asked him to stop.

The woman said his relentless infatuation left her ‘scared’.

The tribunal found that Dr Uzoh's actions were sexually motivated.

One year on, the tribunal said it had received little evidence that Dr Uzoh understood the impact of his wrongdoing or any reassurance from him that he would not repeat this sort of behaviour.

The tribunal said it was disappointed that Dr Uzoh had not shown any sign of addressing his failings and kept his medical knowledge and skills up to date.

Ms Goring, counsel for the GMC, said: "Dr Uzoh does not appreciate the gravity of his offence particularly in relation to his misuse of patient records and his actions being sexually motivated.

"Patients would be placed at risk if Dr Uzoh returned to practice."

In a letter dated April 2018, Dr Uzoh told the GMC he was "still at a loss as to how the GMC managed to determine that this matter was of a sexual nature."

Dr Uzoh said he was not lewd with the patient, did not touch her inappropriately and did not write or say any lewd words to her.

Dr Uzoh told the GMC: "I became attracted to a young lady I met whilst locuming and knowing full well that I was leaving the UK and that the GMC forbids doctors from having relations with their patients I made my intentions known to her that I was seeking something long term only after I stopped working in the UK.

"I persisted in contacting her only because I thought she was playing hard to get but I stopped when I realised she was serious and was distressed by it all.

"There was nothing sexual about my intentions as I was then a single dad and was hoping to find a partner.

"She had told me she loved kids and was working with children at a school.

"I was interested in her for this reason considering I had at the time a six-year old and a four-year-old who I had been raising all by myself for four years."

Dr Uzoh explained that his family live in North America and that he concluded his GP training in August 2015 and secured a job in Canada in January 2016.

At the time of the case he was already scheduled to leave the UK and was undertaking locum positions.

Dr Uzoh apologised that his behaviour fell far below the standard expected of a medical practitioner but he said his intentions were "honourable".

He added: "As a flawed human being, I made a mistake by contacting a patient when I shouldn't have. Having said this I know doctors who are married to their patients. My intentions were noble.

"I wish the patient all the best as I have no malice towards her.

"I heard she contacted the police I wonder why. I only cared about her. I was never going to harm her.

"When it turned out she wasn't interested I sent her flowers to apologise for my actions."