A Woolwich gynaecologist who defrauded the NHS out of tens of thousands of pounds while off work sick has avoided a prison sentence.

Anthony Madu, 45, of The Oaks, received a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, by a judge at Newport Crown Court.

He was also ordered to complete 150 hours' community service and be subjected to a three month night time electronic tag curfew, following an investigation by the NHS Counter Fraud Service (Wales).

The specialist registrar, of Woolwich, London, was convicted in October of six counts of failing to disclose information contrary to Section 3 of the Fraud Act 2006.

His trial heard he was suspended two months into his post with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board before going on sick leave.

But Madu went on to do lucrative locum work worth around £69,000 with three NHS trusts in England while still earning more than £29,000 from his employers in Wales.

And covering Madu's absence had brought the total cost to the Welsh NHS to around £49,000.

Cheryl Hill, from the NHS Counter Fraud Service in Wales, said: "Anthony Madu deceived his employers and was paid thousands of pounds that he should not have been.

"Being a gynaecologist, he abused a position of particular trust and responsibility.

"We always press for the prosecution of offenders and seek the strongest possible sanctions, so public money is not diverted from patient care."