A teenage girl told a tribunal how she thought a nurse wanted to be her boyfriend when he groped her on an ice skating trip.

Thomas Simms allegedly exchanged sexually-charged Facebook messages with the girl after she was discharged from the McGill Acute Admittance ward at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in WInchester.

He took her to the rink after she was discharged on March 28 2012 and the couple flirted and later had sex, the Nursing and Midwifery Council heard.

Simms was later sacked by the hospital following an internal investigation into girls allegations.

Appearing to the panel via videolink the teenager, referred to as Patient A, said contact between her and Simms started on Facebook when she was 17.

Patient A said: 'The first time we met up we went ice skating. I thought at the time he was going to become my boyfriend.”

She said Simms fondled her and she touched him. They later had sex for the first time.

She added: 'Tom and I later talked about our relationship but he said it was too early to talk about that, and that he wanted to get to know me more.'

Rob Benzynie, for the NMC said: 'You as a panel must decide first of all whether the touching, because of its nature, to be sexual and whether its circumstances and purpose might amount to what we have heard.

'The evidence of Patient A that there was kissing between Mr Simms and Patient A is sufficient to amount to a sexual relationship.”

He added: “There has been evidence put before the panel that is more than sufficient to say this was a more than a purely tenuous relationship.

Simms, who was not present or represented at the hearing, has made no formal admission to the charges.

The tribunal has been shown screen shots of messages Simms allegedly sent the girl but he has claims he would never use they kind of language they contained.

If his fitness to practice is found to be impaired, he could face being struck off medical register.