A former university GP has been cleared of sexually assaulting two Stirling students in the 1990s, at a trial which concluded on Monday, February 4th.
Allan Buchan was accused of allegedly groping two men at Airthrey Park Medical Centre, located on the university campus, between January 1993 and December 1998.
Buchan had previously been jailed for two and a half years in 2001 after being found guilty of molesting three male students.
One of the two claimant’s said Buchan had massaged his naked groin during an examination concerning a sore shoulder. The other man said that Buchan had “fondled” his testicles on a visit for sinusitis.
Following a two-day summary trial at Stirling Sheriff Court, Sheriff Pino di Emidio said it was “clear” the two men had presented their evidence “in a way in which appeared genuine.” He added that neither seemed to be driven by “animus” towards Mr. Buchan.
However, the sheriff said he had considerable concern about the reliability of their evidence, after referring to medical records.
The sheriff said, in an exchange with prosecutor Michael Maguire: “Cases from so long ago are so problematic. I don’t suggest they are incredible witnesses – the issue is one of reliability.”
He told the accused: “Mr Buchan I find you not guilty in respect of both charges.”
Neither of the men, both now 44, and living in Aberdeen and Edinburgh respectively, were present for the verdict.
The latest allegations concerning Buchan, 57, of Camelon, Falkirk were said to have happened during his tenure as a GP at the campus practice.
Buchan, who denied the allegations, said one of his accusers had been subject to sexual abuse as a child and the other was a hypochondriac. Buchan said he did not remember either patient but had consulted his medical notes on the men.
According to the Stirling Observer, he told the court: “One of the problems of Stirling University is that it tends to attract people who are trying to escape. It has a lot of English students trying to escape whatever situation they are in.”
He added: “Patients who had been sexually abused as a child were unfortunately incredibly common.”
Buchan also said that the Stirling University had a small group of intravenous drug users, who would inject in their groin area to avoid detection track marks. He remarked that this was “something I’ve only ever seen at Stirling University.”
Brig first reported – ‘Airthrey Doctor Jailed’ (October, 2001) – on the 2001 case, when a jury convicted Buchan of sexual assault against three young men.
He was found not guilty of assaulting a fourth man and charges of assaulting two others were not proven.
Buchan, a married father-of-two, had touched three students who had went to see him for ailments including the flu and a twisted ankle.
Mary McGowan, the 2001 prosecutor, said Dr Buchan “used his position as a doctor to get access to young men and satisfy his own sexual urges.”
In his defence, Dr Buchan said that he had been a victim of a “kangaroo court” and claimed that the students had “misrepresented” his actions or maliciously made-up charges against him.
Glasgow University graduate Buchan was struck off the medical register in 2002 and now works as an environmental consultant.
In 1997, Brig originally met with university officials and threatened to print an expose if action was not taken.
But, according to one student who spoke to The Mirror at the time: “The university could do nothing because no one wanted to make a formal complaint.”