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Stunning downfall of high society shrink

LEWD messages on a drinking binge may have finally sealed the downfall of high society shrink Robert Hampshire who had survived pethidine addiction, bankruptcy and a property empire bust.

The flamboyant Sydney psychiatrist, who once partied with A-listers and threw lavish receptions at his waterfront mansion Altona, has been suspended from practising medicine, Fairfax reports.

This may be the death knell to the colourful career of the doctor, who was first struck off the medical register in 1992 for forging prescriptions to supply himself with the narcotic pethidine.

Over a 30-year career as a consul, the Macquarie Street doctor has provided psychiatric reports in high profile court cases.

Dr Hampshire, 69, gave evidence on behalf of Gordon Wood, who sued the State of NSW for $20m after he was acquitted of murdering model girlfriend Caroline Byrne.

His report on Matthew Newton’s depression led to the actor’s acquittal on assault charges against actor Brooke Satchwell.

Dr Hampshire also wrote a psychiatric report supporting the release on bail of Evie Amati, the woman charged with the suburban 7-Eleven axe attack in January this year.

A passionate cyclist, generous host and owner of a multimillion-dollar property empire, Dr Hampshire was bankrupted in 2010.

His suspension by the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) follows his being caught for sending late night lewd and sexually related texts and phone calls.

Hampshire left the messages in April this year on the phone of a woman who had consulted him professionally as a client.

He told the HCCC that he had been out all day at a friend’s birthday lunch drinking and had taken Temazepam, a sleeping tablet similar to Valium.

Dr Hampshire said he couldn’t remember the name of the friend whose birthday lunch he attended, nor the text messages and phone calls.

Pending a full hearing into the incident, Dr Hampshire has been refused an appeal to continue practising on the grounds he is “a risk to the health and safety of the public”.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Acting Justice Frank Marks in the Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal last week refused to lift his suspension.

Justice Marks said that Dr Hampshire’s troubled history with the NSW Medical Tribunal meant he “does not have good prospects of succeeding on his appeal”.

Robert Hampshire first made the society pages back in 1986, when he had a walk-on part in a production of Lucia de Lammermoor, for which he had paid $1100.

On the same evening, he and his then wife Sally ferried party guests in evening clothes across the harbour to their inner western Sydney home at Birchgrove.

They were a handsome, stylish couple who became known for their hospitality and generosity.

In 1988, the Hampshires made Sydney real estate history by purchasing the 100-year-old Point Piper mansion Altona for $11.5m, making it the nation’s most expensive residence.

French champagne flowed at the legendary parties thrown at the harbourside house with its own marina.

In 1990, Dr Hampshire was found to be self-administering the opiate pethidine and was prohibited from prescribing medicines of dependency.

This did not emerge until later, but the NSW Medical Tribunal’s professional standards committee found he was addicted to pethidine, and issued a warning.

He was ordered to undergo thrice weekly urine tests, but was found to have substituted false urine samples and caught stealing prescription forms which he forged.

The Tribunal, which described him as “a self-centred drug addict”, accused him of breaching their conditions and in 1994 he was voluntarily stuck off the medical register.

In 1995, Hampshire was fined $600 after grabbing a man by the throat during an alleged domestic dispute in the Sydney beachside suburb of Tamarama.

Hampshire pleaded guilty to assault and malicious damage after his lawyer, Chris Murphy, said there psychiatrist had been a “misguided crusader” when forcing himself into a home.

In 2009, Dr Hampshire appeared in court charged with assaulting his lover while boarding a Qantas regional flight to a Gold Cup race meeting in Wagga.

A flight attendant testified she watched Hampshire deliver four “hammer blows” upon Elizabeth Burke’s neck and face with his clenched fist.

Dr Hampshire vigorously denied the allegations and Ms Burke said that he had only “tapped” her.

The charges against him were dismissed.

On February 24, 2013, witnesses saw Dr Hampshire crashing his ute into a stop sign and trees at 9.20am.

He later pleaded guilty to negligent driving, driving while suspended and driving with a low-range blood alcohol level.

Sydney’s Downing Centre Court heard that in he had consumed vodka until 4am and taken 15 anti-hypertensive tablets for a chronic heart condition.

Dr Hampshire was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.

In September 2013, the NSW Medical Tribunal heard a HCCC complaint against Dr Hampshire.

The Commission accused him of professional misconduct, practising without professional indemnity insurance and failing to meet strict conditions placed on his registration.

He was ordered to pay $4950 to the NSW Medical Council.

In 2014, tragedy struck when the psychiatrist’s 19-year-old son fell six metres and suffered a major head injury while on a skiing trip in New Zealand’s South Island.

James Teague was with friends when he tried to climb from a second-floor balcony to the rooftop of the Glebe Apartments in Queenstown.

Dr Hampshire flew to his son’s bedside ion intensive care at Dunedin Hospital, but the teenager died.

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