A disgraced Worcestershire gynaecologist whose techniques were criticised by a string of women can keep his place on the medical register, a tribunal ruled yesterday.
Dr Andrew Gbinigie, from Barnt Green, was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council in March 2003 after he botched an abortion, pulling out a woman's ovary and part of her bowel.
The GMC chose to let him carry on practising, but 15 more women came forward to complain about his treatment and the consultant once again found himself suspended.
Following a hearing in Manchester behind closed doors, a GMC Fitness to Practice panel ruled that Dr Gbinigie was able to continue working.
A spokeswoman said she was not able to release details of the hearing but confirmed the gynaecologist now had full registration, subject to the conditions placed on him in 2003.
Nicki Evans-Young, one of the women who brought the case against Dr Gbinigie, said she was "devastated" at the result and vowed to challenge the GMC's decision.
The GMC sparked outrage in March 2003 when it found Dr Gbinigie guilty of serious professional misconduct but kept him on the medical register.
A panel of medical experts was told how the gynaecologist left a female patient needing life-saving emergency treatment following an abortion that went wrong.
During the botched operation at Birmingham's Calthorpe Clinic, Dr Gbinigie ripped open the woman's uterus, pulling out an ovary, her ureter and a piece of bowel.
The 21-year-old was left fighting for her life and was only saved by a team of top surgeons who had to remove one of her kidneys.
In a set of separate allegations, Dr Gbinigie was also found guilty of sexually harassing two nurses at the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust.
But the GMC panel ruled that the gynaecologist could continue to work - and carry out abortions - providing he abided by a set of conditions for three years.
Following the 2003 ruling, 35 women came forward claiming they had suffered at the hands of Dr Gbinigie. Of those, 15 agreed to provide evidence for a second GMC probe into the gynaecologist's performance.
The allegations were heard in private and have not been made public by the GMC, but solicitors for the women say they related to sterilisations, hysterectomies and diagnoses of Down's Syndrome in babies.
One of the complainants, Nicki Evans-Young, from Kingswinford in Staffordshire, gave birth to a baby girl after a failed sterilisation by Dr Gbinigie.
A spokesperson for the women's solicitors said: "Nicki suffered a very traumatic time agonising over whether to continue with an unplanned pregnancy, causing genuine psychological problems.
"The right to limit the size of her family had been taken away and she had undergone the risk of further surgery, having to be re-sterilised."
In 2004 the mother-of-five, who filed a complaint against Dr Gbinigie, was awarded a five figure out of court settlement by Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust.
Following yesterday's result she said: "I'm devastated. We are all hugely disappointed that the GMC have brought no action against Dr Gbinigie.
"We're not going to let it go. We will continue our fight to have Gbinigie struck off."
Her solicitor Louise Forsyth added: "We have been waiting for over two years for a decision to be made by the GMC about Dr Gbinigie's fitness to practice.
"This has been a very difficult time for the women involved.
"After a very long and frustrating battle it is extremely disappointing that Dr Gbinigie has had no action taken against him by the GMC and has been judged fit to practise.
"We will be reporting the GMC's decision to the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence, who can choose to refer the matter to the High Court if they deem the GMC's decision to be unduly lenient."
A spokeswoman for the GMC said yesterday: "No further restrictions have been placed on Dr Gbinigie's registration following a further hearing which concluded today.
"Dr Gbinigie's registration remains subject to the conditions imposed on his registration in 2003, which will be reviewed before they expire."