Shamed family GP was 'popular doc who acted out of character as he was going through divorce'
A remorseful GP who lied about his working hours during a bankruptcy claim acted out of character, a medical panel ruled.
Dr Kevin Ross dodged prison after being convicted last year of making a false statement and, then aged 45 and living in Station Road, St Annes, was handed a three-month suspended jail term and ordered to pay £5,000 costs within a year.
Earlier this month, Dr Ross was suspended for eight months following a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) tribunal.
But the panel's chairman Tim Bradbury said he was "satisfied that Dr Ross has since learned from his behaviour", despite unsuccessfully appealing against his conviction and initially denying any dishonesty.
Mr Bradbury said: "The tribunal was satisfied that as a consequence of the police investigation, Dr Ross' conviction, his loss of reputation, and his evident sense of shame, there is little risk of repetition."
Dr Ross, who was also going through a divorce, was said to be a popular and respected family doctor, with his conviction - described as a "serious criminal offence which was financially motivated - an "isolated incident".
"The tribunal noted that Dr Ross' conviction was the result of a single act of dishonesty committed under adverse circumstances," Mr Bradbury said.
The panel considering striking Dr Ross' name from the register but decided a suspension would be "an appropriate and proportionate sanction" instead.
Mr Bradbury added: "The tribunal was of the view that Dr Ross has already been punished for his actions as the legal and regulatory processes have now been underway for many years."
Dr Ross, who qualified at the University of Nottingham in 1997, must now park his agency work at a clinic in Lancashire or appeal the panel's decision.
He had signed a record of an interview declaring he worked eight hours a week, earning around £800, and said it was the minimum required to maintain his professional status, Preston's Sessions House was told last year.
Despite claiming the information was "true to the best of his knowledge and belief", records showed he worked 124 hours one month and 176 another, the court was also told.
Prosecutor Louise Cowan said Dr Ross's statement was "palpably untrue" and said: "He must understand the importance of careful analysis of documents and he had signed the note following the interview as a true and accurate record of that interview."
Defending, Bruce Stuart said: "This case is based on a complete misconception of what the law actually is."
He suggested an insolvency worker who gave evidence at the trial was not credible because she did not have a clear recollection of Dr Ross's interview.