Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Dentist cleared of assaulting patients

A dentist and former Liberal Democrat candidate for Parliament was today cleared of sexually assaulting four of his patients.

Adrian Heath, who failed to get elected as a Lib Dem MP in 2005, was accused of "weighing" the breasts of one of his victims before he "tweaked" her nipple.

The 44-year-old, of Rosebury Avenue, Lincoln, was cleared by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court of five counts of sexual assault.

It was alleged he assaulted four different women between November 2007 and August 2008.

After leaving the dock, Dr Heath fell into the arms of his wife and started crying.

During the eight-day trial, he described the allegation he groped one his patients at the Genesis Dental Care practice in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, as "bizarre" and "ridiculous".

The first alleged assault took place in front of one of the woman's friends and a dental nurse in August 2008.

The jury was told he then asked to spend some time alone with the woman after he had carried out an X-ray so she could tell him anything she was nervous about.

He was then accused of assaulting the woman for a second time, removing her left breast and then right breast from her bra and "weighing" them in his hands before "tweaking" one of her nipples.

The court heard that Dr Heath went on to ask his victim to undo her trousers but she refused, saying she had been "embarrassed enough".

Dr Heath denied ever touching the woman inappropriately. He said he was checking her glands around her mouth for signs of infection after she complained of an abscess.

He told the court: "I unequivocally deny that I sexually touched her. I completely reject these accusations. I think they are bizarre. It's ridiculous."

Dr Heath, who lost out to the Conservative Edward Leigh for the seat of Gainsborough in the 2005 General Election, left the court without making any comment.