A doctor caught masturbating in his car has been allowed to keep his job after he explained he was thinking about his wife.

Iraqi-born Aumed Salih, 33, was arrested after a woman saw him exposing himself in his gold BMW.

Police arrived at Village Street in Newdigate, Dorking, to find the doctor’s belt was still undone and a pile of used tissues by his side, the General Medical Council heard.

Salih, who was working at both Newdigate and Brockham surgeries, accepted a caution for outraging public decency but denied professional misconduct.

The hearing was told that the doctor was within 100 metres of Newdigate Church of England infant school while carrying out the act.

But Salih insisted he became turned on after chatting to his wife and could not resist getting his penis out.

He told police he had stopped to get lunch from a nearby shop after a morning’s work, before his next shift started at 4pm.

Then he chatted to his wife and became aroused.

‘Before I realised what I was doing, I started playing with myself,’ he said.

‘I think it was almost not to get sexual pleasure, just to get some rest.’

He also admitted that he noticed a mother and child walking past the car while he was in the act and covered himself up.

The witness told police how she filmed Salih on her video on her camera.

She said: ‘I recorded about 12 seconds of footage, but I got too upset at what I was seeing.’

After calling the police she saw the doctor using tissues on his trouser area.

Salih claimed he was tired and under pressure from his work, and only saw his family at weekends because they had not yet managed to buy a house in the area.

His wife and son, aged one and a half, were both in Birmingham, he told police, and his family were still in Iraq.

The hearing was told that Salih was a Turkish Muslim who had feared for his life under Saddam Hussein’s regime and arrived in the UK as a refugee in 2002.

He told the hearing: ‘I completely understand it is a very bad misjudgement on that day.

‘It never happened before; it will never happen again.’

Salih was told that the incident did not affect his current work as a doctor, and he was free to practice without restrictions.

Panel chairman David Katz told him: ‘The panel takes a serious view of your caution.

‘As you recognise, your behaviour was totally unacceptable.

‘However, the panel has taken into account the mitigating factors in your case.

‘It has had regard to good character both before and since these events.’

He also noted that the doctor been under stress at the time of the incident, had co-operated with police and promptly informed the GMC about what had happened.

It also noted that the GP had accepted advice that it would be more appropriate to continue his training at another practice, and today spoke of his remorse while giving evidence.

Mr Katz said: ‘You expressed regret at your actions which led to the caution, and said you are deeply ashamed of your behaviour and averred it was out of character.

‘However, you added that this does not excuse your behaviour.

‘You accepted that you acted without proper thought.

‘You have learned from this incident.’

Mr Katz told the doctor: ‘The panel is satisfied that you now have insight into your actions and that this unacceptable behaviour will not be repeated.

‘Taking all these factors into account, the panel has determined that your fitness to practice is not impaired.’