A disgraced gynaecologist who was struck off after botching operations will not face any criminal charges, police said today.

North Yorkshire Police have been conducting a long-running inquiry into the activities of Richard Neale.

He was struck off by the GMC in July 2000 after it heard how he put women through agonising pain and, in some cases, left them unable to have children.

In 2004 the chief constable of North Yorkshire Police ordered a re-examination of an earlier investigation. Their brief included receiving and investigating any new complaints.

With the co-operation of the patient support group, officers wrote to more than 300 of their members and received about 145 replies, all of which were investigated.

The allegations arose out of his treatment of patients when he worked as a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist in the North Yorkshire and the Isle of Wight areas.

Today, a spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: "In the light of the Crown Prosecution Service advice there is to be no further action against Mr Neale at this time.

"Mr Neale has been informed of this decision, as have the complainants."

Mr Neale was found guilty by the GMC of botching operations on 12 women between 1985 and 1998.

Between these dates, Mr Neale worked mainly at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, but later had spells in Leicester and at the private Portland Hospital in central London.

He had been struck off the medical register in Canada in 1985 for serious incompetence involving the deaths of two patients.

But he was still allowed to practise when he arrived in the UK, prompting criticism of the GMC from some of his British victims.