A REFLEXOLOGIST took advantage of several ill women to fulfil his perverted lust, a court heard today.

Balding Stuart Hill, 57, told female patients he was using the latest Chinese massage technique to make them better.

The ''hormone therapy'', which he said was banned in the UK, involved placing a High Street vibrating massager on an intimate part of the patient's body.

Hill claimed this would make the victims aroused and ''orgasmic'' and it would make them feel better, Durham Crown Court heard.

The defendant, who ran Meridian Massage at Nevilles Cross, near Durham City, also claimed he could tell whether a patient had cancer by inspecting their feet or lymph nodes.

One of the victims, a middle-aged married woman, went to see Hill because she had problems with her knee.

But instead of treating her injury he placed the electric massager in an intimate part of her body under the guise of ''hormone therapy'', which had ''scales of arousal'' between one and 10.

''He said think about having sex with her husband while being massaged,'' prosecutor Amanda Rippon told the court.

''The defendant told her this therapy was not legal in England and she was his guinea pig.

''She began to think this was legitimate therapy. He continued to ask her how aroused she was and what turned her on.

''She started crying because she could not get aroused. She started to think that if she could not get aroused she would not get better.

''He told her she needed to be orgasmic.''

Hill also licked the woman's breasts and told her he was ''well endowed''.

Miss Rippon described how the victim's face was covered with a towel and so could not see the electric massager Hill was using.

''She felt the vibrating tool around her groin area and around her legs. She tried to focus on feeling better and when the tool got very close to her vagina she thought it had been inadvertent,'' the prosecutor said.

''She trusted the defendant and the prosecution say this was a deliberate act.''

Miss Rippon added: ''He was a jolly upbeat man and she genuinely believed that he wanted her to get better.

''The defendant started to feel better and told her husband that the defendant was a miracle worker.''

Hill would charge £30 for a one-hour session although he would readily offer discounts to patients - sometimes charging just £5.

Miss Rippon told the court how Hill would deliberately target female clients.

''He has been described by the women as an enigmatic person,'' she told the jury of nine men and three women.

''They came to trust him and believe he was treating them genuinely. They were then sexually abused by him and sexually touched by him. He did this under the guise of helping them.

''Sometimes it appears he simply took advantage of a situation, tried it on if you like.

''He left these women ashamed, disgusted and distraught and feeling they were to blame and they felt stupid for falling for it.

''His behaviour is not just indecent, it is criminal.''

She also told the jury that Hill had two previous convictions for sexually assaulting female patients.

Hill, of Red Courts, Brandon, near Durham City denies six charges of sexual assault, two of assault by penetration and one of indecent assault.

The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.