A DOCTOR accused of sexually assaulting two young girls has had the case against him thrown out of court.

Prosecutors offered no evidence against Magdy Boutros Fahmy Eskander mid-way through an eight-day trial.

Details of it can only be revealed now because of reporting restrictions which had been placed on the case.

Dr Eskander, 56, faced five charges of sexually assaulting two 11-year-olds at Teesside Crown Court.

It was alleged he touched the girls' breasts and privates while they were covered by a sheet on a bed.

The youngsters and their parents - who were with them in hospital - gave evidence at the start of the trial.

But when medical experts took to the stand, it emerged that Mr Eskander's examinations seemed quite normal.

Another doctor said an examiner's hands might go close to a patient's breasts or groin under some circumstances.

He was a consultant orthapaedic surgeon working at Darlington Memorial Hospital and Bishop Auckland General Hospital.

The first alleged victim was referred to see the consultant by her GP as she had a knee complaint, the court heard.

It is accepted that a surgeon would need to examine other parts of the body - include the lymph glands, particularly those in the neck, armpit and groin.

After the girl's mother complained to health bosses, police were contacted but no further action was taken.

The court heard that the original decision was reviewed when another girl came forward with a complaint.

Prosecutor Richard Bennett said she had a back problem and was referred to the clinic at Bishop Auckland General Hospital.

She claimed she had been groped her under a sheet, but her mother researched on the internet and saw that in some circumstances an intimate examination was required.

Dr Eskander, from Chilton, County Durham, had dozens of character witnesses to call if the trial had reached that stage.

He was described in court as a well-respected doctor, and the jury had been asked to consider whether both girls were mistaken.