A gynaecologist who was unfit to work defrauded the NHS out of tens of thousands of pounds, a jury has heard.

Anthony Madu is on trial at Cardiff Crown Court. He denies six counts of fraud.

The 45-year-old specialist registrar was suspended two months into his post with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board before going on sick leave.

However, a jury heard Madu went on to do lucrative locum work with three NHS trusts in England while still earning more than £29,000 from his employers in Wales.

Prosecution counsel Christian Jowett said Madu had been irresponsible as well as dishonest.

Mr Jowett said: “He was legally obliged to tell Cardiff and Vale University Health Board of his work in England and he did not do so.

“He was also legally obliged to tell two locum agencies who had employed him…that he was on extended leave and been granted sickness leave.

“But he continued to work and receive payment from both Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and his work in England.

“This was a very costly business for the NHS and very lucrative for Dr Madu…that’s why he did it.”

The court heard Madu was given the specialist registrar obstetrics gynaecology post at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, in August 2009.

But Mr Jowett said the defendant was placed on “extended leave” in October before being “escorted off the premises”.

He added: “In short they suspended him.

“The following January he began a period of sickness leave.

“However, during this extended leave and sickness he continued to work as a locum doctor at hospitals in England.”

The jury was told Madu got locum work at Sandwell General Hospital in Birmingham as well as Scarborough General Hospital, north Yorkshire in late 2009 via employment firm JCJ.

Between April and August the following year, the defendant then had a four month stint at The Royal Oldham Hospital in Greater Manchester through locum agency Medacs.

But the court was told in January, March and April 2010 Madu had handed in sick forms - which had been signed by his GP - to his bosses in Cardiff.

After being diagnosed with “work related stress”, he was offered counselling as well as prescription drugs.

Mr Jowett said Madu’s decision to keep on working while medically unfit was “irresponsible”.

The court was also told that the CVs Madu had given to the employment agencies did not mention his time in Cardiff - something which the prosecution says points to his dishonesty.

And Mr Jowett added that between October 2009 and June 2010, the defendant had been paid a total of £29,150.66 by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

However, Mr Jowett said covering Madu’s absence had brought the total cost to the Welsh NHS at around £49,000.

He added the process of working out Madu’s locum pay was “more complex” - and a total figure was not disclosed to the court.

Mr Jowett added Madu later tried to defend his actions by saying “he thought he was allowed to do locum work”.

However, The Crown says Cardiff and Vale University Health Board would not have sanctioned Madu to do locum work had it known about it.

It is also the prosecution’s case JCJ and Medacs would not have employed Madu if they had known he had been suspended or had been granted sickness leave.

Defending Madu, of Woolwich, is London barrister Eleazar Anyene, while the Judge presiding over the case is David Wyn Morgan.

The trial continues.