A Merseyside doctor who abused his position by groping and kissing two young women was spared jail.
Dr Maxman Tembo (pictured) targeted his victims despite knowing they were vulnerable and one was suffering from depression.
The 49-year-old, of Marigold Way, St Helens, denied any wrongdoing and said he was a “committed Christian” and married man.
But the Everton-based GP was found guilty after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court of two counts of sexual assault.
Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, said he caused the woman with depression “untold psychological damage”.
He said: “It seems to me you targeted both of them precisely because of their age.
“You had no thought whatsoever for their well-being. All you thought of was your own sexual gratification.
“Despite your denials, I’m quite sure you were attracted to those girls because of their young age.”
Prosecutors said one victim was left in tears after Tembo “tickled her over her top and then drifted onto her skin” in 2015.
David Watson, prosecuting, said: “He stroked the top of her head, lifted her off the ground and pressed his groin into her back.
Dr Maxman Tembo, 49, arriving at Liverpool Crown court
“He then said ‘your boyfriend would kill me if he found out’ and kissed the side of her neck.”
The doctor said they were just friends who often hugged. He denied trying to tickle her and said she gave him a peck on the cheek.
He claimed the woman was “smiling and giggling” when he left to go to church to teach Bible readings.
Mr Watson said the defendant also indicated a woman should sit on his lap in 2013, before hugging and trying to kiss and grope her.
Tembo told the jury he was a friendly person who would exchange hugs, but denied trying to kiss her or forcing her hands towards his body.
Judge Goldstone said: “It is sad you should have played so hard during your trial the card of religion.
“You may be a devout Christian but your behaviour towards these girls showed no adherence to or respect for the principles of Christianity.”
Tembo, who has also worked at medical centres in Aintree and Newton-le-Willows, is currently suspended from Everton Road Health Centre.
Julian Linskill, defending, said his client was a hard-working man, who was now bankrupt.
He said: “He has effectively thrown away his career. He is suspended from practice by the General Medical Council.”
Judge Goldstone said: “It’s reasonable to assume I hope that this defendant will not be practising as a doctor again.”