A disgraced doctor who bluffed his way into lucrative locum jobs after being struck off for fondling female patients was jailed for two years yesterday.

Ghana-born Edward Asirifi, 53, a former partner at a practice in Muirkirk, Ayrshire, worked at a variety of GP surgeries for 18 months, earning #39,000 while the DSS continued paying his mortgage and dole handouts.

Incredibly, the General Medical Council who originally struck him off circulated his name on a list of restored doctors and offers poured in via two locum agencies for Dr Asirifi, also known as Young, to work at practices in London and the South-east.

Inner London Crown Court Judge Jeremy Fordham told Asirifi, of Streatham: ''The overall picture is this: It was a shocking thing that someone who knew as you did you were not entitled to practise was working as a doctor and it is somewhat of a shock that it was allowed to happen over a period of 18 months.

''What I'm dealing with here is dishonesty over a considerable length of time by an intelligent well-educated person who knew what they were doing.''

Following two trials, Asirifi was found guilty of three charges of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception, namely DSS Giros, on various dates between July 1994 and July 1996.

He was also found guilty of theft between July 27 1994 and January 20 1995 in that he sold medical certificates belonging to World's End Health Centre, King's Road, Chelsea; between October 26, 1994, and September 27, 1995, stole blank prescription sheets belonging to Dr Christine Elliott at Sterndale Road, Hammersmith; between January 3, 1995, and March 22, 1995, stole medical notes and blank prescription sheets belonging to Petersfield Surgery, Petersfield Road, Romford; and between July 5, 1996, and August 10, 1996, stole blank medical certificates belonging to the Tower Medical Centre, Cannon Street Road, City.

Asirifi carried out unneccessary internal and breast examinations on six women in London and Scotland over a four-year period.

The GMC struck him off the register in 1993 and after being struck off he used the name of Dr Edward Young to obtain at least 35 locum jobs in London and Somerset.

He had a #100,000 mortgage on a property in Poplar Avenue, Broomhill, Glasgow which he successfully sold before repossession.

His lawyer, Mr Roderick Johnson, told the court: ''It is a reversal from a man of respectability to one of total humiliation, degradation and shame.''

The scandal of the doctor's name appearing on the official GMC list of restored practitioners was emphasised when Dr Asirifi again received the offer of temporary work from a Southampton locum agency following his conviction in the first trial in which the agency had given evidence.