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GP tells of ordeal in hate campaign

A GP has told of her three-year ordeal at the hands of a former patient who launched a hate campaign against her.

Dr Wendy Harrison endured a torrent of hate mail that extended to her friends and her husband. In one letter, the GP was accused of being a 'psychopathic, evil witch'. Dr Harrison, a partner at a surgery in March, Cambridge-shire, was granted an injunction against Susan Cole last November, after being made to fear for her safety. But a London High Court judge last week ruled that Cole breached the injunction by sending a 'distressing' letter about Dr Harrison to a Christian bookshop. Mr Justice Walker imposed a one-week jail term, suspended for six months. Dr Harrison told Pulse: 'It has been so traumatic for me and my family. When GPs get into this situation they can be very vulnerable. I really valued my Medical Protection Society support. Now I just want to draw a line under this.'Despite her experience, the GP said she felt no ill-will toward her tormentor. 'I wish her well,' she said.The MPS handles about 10 cases a year involving GPs harassed by patients, said its director of education and communications, Stephanie Bown. Court action is rare, however. She added: 'No healthcare professional should feel intimidated and we will always take action.' Cole was described as 'fixated' on her GP by Dr Harrison's lawyer, Simon Cridland, at the November hearing. Cole had accused Dr Harrison of 'labelling' her as 'violent', making it difficult for her to find another GP, the court heard.Mr Cridland said Cole once sent Dr Harrison a Christmas card with the words 'Happy Christmas' blanked out. Cole also complained about Dr Harrison to the GMC, the health service ombudsman and her local PCT, he added.Cole's legal team declined to comment.

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