Dental lecturer’s career ruined after he had sex in office and lied to cover up

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A dental lecturer’s career is in tatters after it was found he repeatedly had sex in his office and then lied to try to cover it up.

Dr Alec High was overheard by colleagues engaging in sexual activity at the University of Leeds - including on one occasion by a support officer comforting a grieving student whose grandmother had died.

Despite being warned about his conduct Dr High continued his illicit liaisons with the woman, who was often seen coming and going from his office at the school of dentistry’s Worsley building.

He later lied to a university investigation, trying to convince staff he was working at a hospital on one occasion when he and the woman were heard having sex.

Now the highly experienced lecturer, who worked for the NHS before joining the university in 1981, faces ending his career in disgrace.

A practice committee at the General Dental Council (GDC) found his sexual dalliances were both inappropriate and unprofessional, and that his conduct in deliberately trying to cover it up was misleading and dishonest.

Dr High, who refused to attend the hearing in London, was charged before the committee with repeatedly engaging in sexual activity between January 1 2013 and March 11 2015, and again between 2pm and 3pm on March 12 2015.

The allegations came to light after a student support, advice and outreach officer at the university complained about Dr High having sex while she tried to console a student on March 12 2015.

Tom Coke-Smyth, on behalf of the GDC, told the committee: “During the appointment she began to hear the loud noise of what she was clear was two people having sex.

“This occasion was particularly serious as she was dealing with an upset student who had suddenly lost her grandmother, whose family was abroad and who was unable to return home for a funeral.”

The committee was told she and other staff, including lecturers, had overheard Dr High having sex in his office for years, often through the thin office walls.

Initially only in the evenings, in 2014 the support officer began hearing him having sex during the day.

She complained that summer to her boss, a professor, about the noises of Dr High “entertaining a woman at lunchtime”, and when he was confronted the dentist promised it would not happen again.

Dr High became “embarrassed” whenever the support officer walked past him and refused to speak to her.

But after the professor left the university in December 2014 the liaisons resumed - at first in the evenings and then in working hours.

When a university investigation was launched Dr High lied about where he was on March 12 2015, claiming his computer history would prove he was covering for a colleague at Leeds’ St James Hospital, the GDC heard.

But when he was told the equipment would be examined, Dr High protested that was “completely unacceptable” and became “increasingly agitated at the prospect”.

The investigation found his PC, laptop and mobile phone were all logged on or connected at the Worsley building during the time he was accused of having sex.

Dr High resigned from his position as senior lecturer after the investigation.

According to the University of Leeds’ website, Dr High taught undergraduate and postgraduate students, is a consultant histopathologist and honorary secretary to a national pathology society and chairs an examiner panel at the Royal College of Pathologists.

The GDC panel will pass its sanction on Tuesday.

Greg Carter of Growth Street Photo: Lana Kropyvna

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