An Indian-origin doctor was on Tuesday found guilty of sexually assaulting 23 women by a court in United Kingdom. Manish Shah, a general practitioner, was convicted of 25 counts of sexual assault and assault by penetration.
The Old Bailey Court in London heard how Shah used the case of Hollywood actor Angelina Jolie having a preventative mastectomy, before asking a patient if she would like him to examine her breasts, PTI reported.
“He took advantage of his position to persuade women to have invasive vaginal examinations, breast examinations and rectal examinations when there was absolutely no medical need for them to be conducted,” Prosecutor Kate Bex told the jury. “Fear is an incredible motivator and few health concerns are scarier than cancer. Shah exploited that and used it for his own personal gratification,” she added.
Shah persuaded female patients to have regular breast and vaginal examinations even when there was no clinical need, a press statement from Metropolitan Police said. The doctor committed these offences between May 2009 and June 2013 at the Mawney Medical Centre in Romford, east London, the court was told.
“The court also heard that Shah was ‘overfamiliar’ with some of his female patients, and made inappropriate comments as well as making physical contact and hugging and kissing them,” the police statement said.
The 50-year-old doctor, however, denied any wrongdoing. His advocate Zoe Johnson told judges that he was a “cautious, insecure, perhaps at times incompetent GP”.
He will be sentenced for all the offences on February 7, 2020.
The state-funded National Health Service had carried out a scoping exercise of all of Shah’s female patients. “His medical notes were reviewed, and these gave rise to concerns about the medical justification of the examinations he had conducted,” the statement said.
“These offences are particularly grave due to Shah’s abuse of his position, and of the trust placed in him as a family doctor,” Acting Detective Superintendent, Richard McDonagh said. “Today’s conviction is the culmination of a huge amount of work on what was a complex, sensitive investigation which was supported by NHS England. I would like to acknowledge the women who were victims of Shah, and who supported the prosecution and gave evidence at Shah’s trials. Without their evidence, Shah may not have been brought to justice, but the weight of evidence against him at both trials was overwhelming.”