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Former doctor convicted of offences against patients

News   •   Dec 10, 2019 19:17 GMT

[Convicted: Manish Shah]

A former doctor has been found guilty of sexually assaulting dozens of female patients by conducting unnecessary, intrusive medical examinations over a five-year period.

Manish Shah, 50 (08.10.69) of Brunel Close, Romford was found guilty of nine counts of sexual assault and 16 counts of sexual assault by penetration after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey which concluded on Tuesday, 3 December. 

It can now be reported that Shah was found guilty of offences of sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by touching in relation to 17 other women at an earlier trial which concluded in December 2018.

He will be sentenced for the offences from both trials at the same court on 7 February 2020.

Shah committed the offences between 2009 and 2013 while he was a GP at the Mawney Medical Centre in Romford, east London.

The charges across the two trials relate to a total of more than 20 female victims, aged in their 20s and 30s. They all gave evidence during both trials.

Jurors heard that Shah recommended and suggested that the patients have regular breast and vaginal examinations, when there was no clinical need.

On some occasions, he highlighted the urgency of check-ups for cervical cancer, breast cancer and other serious illnesses by talking about celebrities who had suffered with similar conditions.

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.

Shah’s offending first came to light in July 2013, when four women made separate allegations to the medical practice that Dr Shah had sexually assaulted them; these were passed to police.

The thorough and lengthy investigation was led by officers from Central Specialist Crime.

NHS England carried out a scoping exercise of all Dr 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.

As a result of the scoping exercise, 139 women were spoken to by police and a number of these supported the prosecution.

Dr Shah was first arrested in September 2013 in relation to the initial four allegations, and further allegations were subsequently investigated.

Acting Detective Superintendent Richard McDonagh, from Central Specialist Crime, said: “Shah was a long-serving doctor who was well-known in the community, and trusted and liked by his patients, many who had him as their GP for many years.

“They were unaware that Shah was carrying out unnecessary, invasive examinations on female patients for his own sexual gratification, after giving his victims misleading clinical advice. These offences are particularly grave due to Shah’s abuse of his position, and of the trust placed in him as a family doctor.

“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.”

The NHS has a dedicated number for any individuals who may have concerns or questions. They can be contacted on 0800 011 4253.

+ Shah was found not guilty of one count of sexual assault, and three counts of assault by penetration. The jury could not reach a decision on a further sexual assault charge.