Doctor faces ruin over Spain assault conviction

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THE career of a brilliant young doctor may be in ruins after he was convicted of assault by a Spanish court.

Dr Kevin Gallagher, 26, was convicted of assaulting two men during a holiday to Puerto Banus with a friend last year.

Despite vehemently denying the allegations, and claiming the conviction is “dubious”, a court in Malaga found him guilty of the charges.

Now Dr Gallagher is facing a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service hearing in Manchester, which is considering his fitness to practice due to the conviction.

The tribunal heard Dr Gallagher, who trained at Edinburgh University, was on holiday in Spain in April last year with his friend, Dr Joseph Frantzias.

On the last night of their break they went for a meal and headed to the Buddha Bar nightspot for a couple of drinks.

As they left the bar at 5am, they were approached by two policemen who asked Dr Gallagher, who is originally from Belfast, for his passport.

He told the hearing they returned to their apartment with the police to fetch it, after which he was taken to a police station.

Dr Gallagher said: “I had no idea what was going on. I was scared as the police were acting strangely.”

He said they returned to their apartment, but around 30 minutes after going to bed, the police returned and arrested him. Dr Gallagher said they were asking: “Did you hit somebody?”

The police checked his hands for marks and then locked him in a cell for 14 hours.

He said: “They checked my hands, there were no marks. I was convinced it was a misunderstanding.

“I was taken from there to a cell. After around 12-14 hours I was allowed to speak to a publicly appointed lawyer. He told me I was being accused of hitting some Spanish people.”

After being granted bail, Dr Gallagher returned to Edinburgh to work before flying back to Spain for his full trial on May 22. He told the hearing he had a translator in court but “didn’t understand what was happening”.

After the trial he returned to Edinburgh and only found out in an e-mail from his lawyer that he had been convicted of three counts of assault.

Wiping away tears, he said: “I was absolutely devastated. I’ve never been violent.”

The tribunal heard he had graduated from Edinburgh University with a first class honours degree in pharmacology. In 2011, he graduated from Medical School with honours, placing him in the top ten per cent of students.

The panel also heard he used to be vice-president of a charity helping troubled children in Edinburgh. It is not known which hospital he is training at in the Capital.

The hearing is expected to conclude today.