A SURGEON – who had the ‘whole world at his feet’ – has been cleared of raping a woman after a judge ruled he was unable to have a fair trial when it came to light that the complainant had ‘embellished’ her story.

Mathew Sewell wept as the jury formally returned the two not guilty verdicts after the Crown Prosecution Service was forced to withdraw the allegations at Teesside Crown Court.

And as the jurors left the courtroom several of them nodded their support towards the appreciative surgeon, who held his head in his hands.

The court heard that Mr Sewell, a Consultant Paediatric and Adult spinal deformity surgeon, who used to work at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, had been unable to work for three years since he was arrested in January 2017.

The jury had heard that charges relate to the matter of consent regarding the alleged victim believing that he was wearing a condom during sex.

Mr Sewell’s barrister, Tania Griffiths QC, called on Judge Stephen Ashurst to release all of the court documents to the General Medical Council (GMC) to ensure that her client is able to return to work.

“He had the whole world at his feet,” she said. “He said ‘on Monday, I was saving a child’s life, and on Friday, I was in a police cell.”

She said her client was unable to work for more than one year while the initial investigation was carried out and had returned for just one week in August 2018 when a letter arrived informing him that he was being charged.

Miss Griffiths said it was almost three years to the day when he arrested at Teesside Airport as he returned from a conference in Prague. She added: “He has been unable to work for three years as a surgeon.”

Addressing the jurors, Judge Ashurst told them that the complainant had ‘lied’ in her evidence and changed her story about the events which took place in 2017.

He said: “I came to the conclusion, having looked at the case in some detail, that I am satisfied that there was no evidence that could prove allegation of counts one and two as the prosecution case had unfairly and radically shifted during this trial.

“I will withdraw count one and two from the jury and ask them to return a verdict of not guilty.

The 40-year-old, of Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, always denied both charges and maintained that the sex was consensual after the pair met on dating app Tinder.

The defendant is no longer employed in the region.