A SEVENTY-year-old optician working at Vision Express in The Harlequin shopping centre who claimed his penis accidentally fell from his trousers into a woman's hand, has been found guilty of indecent assault.

Dr Pritam Dhir, a retired optician, was working in the centre on June 12 last year.

Dhir, of Devonshire Place in London's West End, was working as a locum and was carrying out an eye examination when he touched the woman's breast and put his penis in her hand, Luton Crown Court heard this week.

Dhir, pleaded not guilty to indecent assault but was convicted by a jury last month.

On Wednesday his barrister Michael Ivers told the court that in the doctor's 43 year professional career he had never had a single complaint made against him.

He said: 'He feels humiliated and this conviction weighs heavily on him. He has stopped working and it is his intention not to work again.'

Prosecutor Wendy Cook said the 35-year-old woman he touched was very upset and fled from the shop to report the offence to police.

Dhir had claimed his penis had accidentally fallen from his trousers but sentencing him to two years probation Mr Justice Gage said: 'This was a breach of trust and in the normal course of events I would be considering a custodial sentence.

'It is a tragedy to see a man such as you fall from grace so late in your career and your life.

'But in view of your age, health and previous excellent good character I propose to take an exceptional course.

'Your reputation has suffered very substantially indeed and the conviction represents a significant punishment itself.

'You have made a decision not to work again and I think that is a very wise and sensible move. I hope and believe this is the last time you will be seen in any court.'

Dhir was also ordered to pay costs of £359.