A hospital doctor who sexually assaulted two female patients while pretending to perform genuine examinations has been struck off the medical register.

Dr Maher Khetyar, 46, assaulted one patient at St Peter's Hospital in Surrey, in 2012, before abusing another at Wycombe Hospital a year later.

On each occasion, he began chest exams before putting his hands into the women's bras and fondling them.

He was reported to the General Medical Council but last October escaped being struck off when the Medical Practitioners Tribunal instead suspended him.

After an appeal by the GMC to the High Court, a senior judge ruled that Dr Khetyar should have been struck off the register.

Mr Justice Andrew Baker said the tribunal had gone "badly" wrong when deciding a 12-month suspension was enough and striking him off was the only appropriate punishment.

The court heard concerns were first raised about the doctor while working at Caithness General Hospital, in Wick, Scotland, more than a decade ago.

A colleague complained about behaviour which the judge said amounted to "sexually motivated pestering or harassment".

His conduct was "unacceptable", especially given he was the more senior of the two colleagues, said the judge.

However, it was his behaviour in 2012 and 2013 which was most "worrying", he continued.

The St Peter's patient had had a procedure and asked for her x-ray results, but Dr Khetyar took the chance to assault her, groping her during an examination.

The police and GMC were notified, but he was not prosecuted and no professional action was taken against him as the woman did not want to take it further.

Dr Khetyar struck again almost exactly one year to the day later while working in High Wycombe.

A patient complained of having a headache and, after having her blood pressure tested, Dr Khetyar decided to conduct a chest exam.

Again, he used the opportunity to abuse the woman, putting his hands inside her bra and cupping her breasts.

The patient was left "confused and disturbed" by the experience and reported it, leading to the disciplinary case, said the judge.

Overturning last year's decision not to strike him off, Mr Justice Baker told the High Court that Dr Khetyar denied what he did and had no insight into his actions.

"He had pretended to conduct legitimate medical examinations on Patients B and C, in each case fondling their breasts for sexual reasons," he said.

"He continued to deny he had done so and gave unreliable and, in parts, incredible evidence.

Dr Khetyar's lawyers argued that the decision of the tribunal not to erase his name from the register was justified.

But Mr Justice Baker said the tribunal had followed a "flawed and wrong approach".

"Sexually assaulting patients in the guise of conducting medical examinations is behaviour fundamentally incompatible with being a doctor," he continued.

The judge ordered that Dr Khetyar be struck off and that he should pay £5,000 towards the GMC's court costs, on top of his own £10,000 lawyers' bill.