A police surgeon has been jailed for 15 years for drugging, raping and indecently assaulting young girls while filming the attacks.

Forensic medical examiner Dr Robert Wells, 52, was found guilty of nine of the 11 charges he faced.

After the trial it was revealed that Wells, who worked in the Southampton and Winchester areas of Hampshire, had been tried for similar attacks before. But police vetting procedures did not find the previous charges against him.

Wells befriended the parents of the youngsters, one aged five and two aged 11, in order to gain access to them.

Police were alerted by the parents of two of the girls after they had spent time at Wells's flat in Southampton.

Tests on an 11 and five-year-old girl showed they had been given drugs and that the older girl had been raped.

Wells refused to cooperate in any way with the police investigation, and they had to painstakingly piece together the location of the Southampton flat from the small amount the girls could remember.

'Encrypted files'

When they traced the flat in Priory Avenue, St Denys, they found drugs, camera equipment and a note in Wells's handwriting giving a timetable for administering the drugs and filming the abuse.

Officers also found pictures on Wells's computer showing him abusing one of the girls.

A computer expert, he also encrypted several other files that police believe may show more images of abuse.

Wells had claimed during the trial he was suicidal and wanted to frame himself for the crimes.

Afterwards it was revealed he had been tried for indecent assault against two girls from the Brighton area in 1995, but the trials collapsed.

At the time of his arrest he was working for Hampshire Police through medical company Primecare.

Neither they nor Hampshire police knew of the previous charges against him. Vetting procedures between 1993 and 2002 only required checks to be made in the local area, so the Brighton allegations were not picked up.