A DOCTOR molested a 15-year-old girl on a bus in Bradford during a "moment of madness" after he had been drinking, a court heard.

Amitabh Kumar was told by magistrates: "You are living proof that reputations built up over years can be destroyed in minutes."

The bespectacled 45-year-old wept in the dock at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Court yesterday as his case for sexual assault on a the girl was heard .

Kumar, of Thornton Road, Fairweather Green, had pleaded guilty to the charge at an earlier hearing.

Prosecutor Paul Ramsay told the court heard that on April 18 this year, Kumar had rubbed his foot up and down his victim's leg and rubbed the back of her neck with his hand, while both were on the top deck of a 617 service from Bradford Interchange.

Mr Ramsay said the victim was "very shaken and scared" by what had happened and "shocked that it could happen on public transport". He added that the teenager was now fearful of seeing Kumar again on a bus.

Mr Ramsay also read from a statement by the teenager in which she said: "I felt I was touched in a way that violated me. I believe he was touching me for sexual gratification. I believe if witnesses had not stepped in he would have gone further and tried to do more."

The court heard how a male passenger intervened and said 'what the hell are you doing? She is about 14 or 15'. Mr Ramsay said the man stopped Kumar from leaving the bus and held him until police arrived.

One witness said Kumar was stroking and touching the back of the victim's neck and that she looked intimidated and uncomfortable.

In police interview, said Mr Ramsay, Kumar denied touching the girl. He claimed he inadvertently touched her when trying to put his hand on a rail and when stretching his leg because of a knee problem.

But when he first appeared in court on the charge of sexual assault on a female, he had pleaded guilty.

In mitigation Paul Fitzpatrick for Kumar, said he had no previous convictions or cautions.

He added: "The impact of two to three minutes of madness, when his inhibitions were loosened as a result of the alcohol he had consumed, the ramifications on the victim, Dr Kumar and his family, are extremely far-reaching.

"Whatever the court does today, it will be little compared to the torment his actions have caused. He has told me how his behaviour will haunt him for the rest of his life."

Mr Fitzpatrick added: "He is ashamed and embarrassed. Everything he has strived for, everything he has studied for and worked for, in three minutes he has thrown all that away."

The court heard that Kumar is still on the General Medical Council (GMC) register, but Mr Fitzpatrick said: "Due to the nature of the offences committed, he will probably be struck off the register."

Dr Kumar, a qualified but not practising doctor who works with vulnerable adults, was sentenced to a community order with supervision for 36 months, 60 hours' unpaid work and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for five years.

He was ordered to pay his victim £300 compensation, as well as £85 court costs and a £60 surcharge.