PATIENTS of a family doctor twice convicted of kerb-crawling are to decide his future at a North-East practice.

Patrick Holmes, 33, a GP at Felix House Surgery in Middleton St George, near Darlington, was convicted for the second time in September of soliciting prostitutes in Teesside's red light district.

The doctor, who is married with two young children, is being investigated by the General Medical Council over his behaviour.

Cleveland police's prostitution task group is also considering issuing him with an Anti-Social Behaviour Order to ban him from the red light district in Middlesbrough. Since his conviction he has not been allowed to see patients but the three remaining partners at the practice have now asked patients whether Dr Holmes should continue at the surgery.

A letter sent to patients said that after his first offence "his family, we at the practice, and his patients trusted him not to let it happen again". It went on: "With his second conviction we feel that this trust has been misplaced and Dr Holmes is very apologetic."

The letter says the practice has received both letters of support and negative comments.

It now wants other patients to come forward with their views "as to whether or not you would be prepared to have him as a doctor".

It is understood that Dr Holmes, of Middleton Lane, Middleton St George, is receiving professional help for his problem.

He will be unable to see patients until the results of the General Medical Council investigation are known.