Doctor jailed for sex assault

09/02/2012

On Tuesday, 07 February 2012, a doctor who sexually assaulted a young woman in a hospital cubicle as she recovered from a fit was jailed for three years.

Dr Hassan Khan first sexually assaulted the 20-year-old behind the curtains and then told her to undress because he wanted to give her an internal examination.

As she lay on the trolley inside the cubicle, which was in the hospital's A&E department, she said the doctor intimately fondled her while watching her face the whole time.

She told the court: "I think he was waiting for a reaction but I wasn't going to give him one."

Dr Khan was unexpectedly interrupted when a sister pulled back the cubicle curtains to say the patient's boyfriend had arrived at the hospital. The victim told the jury: "He jumped back, he looked really nervous."

Asked why she had not called out on the busy ward where other patients were in cubicles and nurses were nearby, she replied: "You trust a doctor. You don't expect that to happen and I just froze."

The jury heard that  when the sister Mandy Lowe put her head round the curtains of the cubicle, she was concerned that a intimate examination was taking place and that Doctor Khan was "un-chaperoned".

On Tuesday, 07 February 2012 at St Albans Crown Court, a jury found 42-year-old Dr Khan guilty of assault by penetration and sexual assault.

Passing sentence on the disgraced doctor, who is married with a five-year-old son, Judge John Plumstead told him when the young woman arrived at the Queen Elizabeth 11 Hospital in Welwyn Garden City, Herts, on the evening of 10 April last year, she was hoping for "care and reassurance".

The judge went on: "Instead she was abused by you, betraying the trust inherent in patient doctor relationships". He said the abuse she had endured that night had been "shocking and distressing".

The judge added, "She is still distressed to this day" adding that she had been sexually humiliated in the cubicle that night.

During the week long trial, the jury heard how the woman, who lives in St Albans, had been at a barbeque that night when she suffered an epileptic fit and passed out for few minutes. She had bitten her tongue causing it to bleed and, after coming round, was driven to the the hospital.

The court was told that Dr Khan, who at the time was living in Edith Grove, Chelsea, West London, was a locum doctor that night on his first shift at the the hospital. He was running late and arrived at the hospital around 11pm to begin a night shift. After changing into his hospital scrubs he went to the A&E department.

The woman was already waiting in a cubicle and he went in to examine her.

Jan Hayne prosecuting told the court: "This young lady alleges that what took place in that cubicle in A&E was not an examination appropriate for a lady who had suffered from an epileptic fit."

Giving evidence Dr Khan said he was "devastated and completely in shock" when he was arrested. The doctor told the court he was also working as Forensic Medical Examiner for the Met Police in West London at the time.

After taking details of her history, he said he closed the curtains at the front of the cubicle so that he could examine her and maintain her "privacy and confidentiality".

He told the jury of six men and six women: "I needed to examine her from head to toe to see if there were broken ribs or an injury to the tummy".

The doctor denied carrying out an internal examination on the patient saying it would not be necessary on a patient who had suffered a fit.

Asked by his barrister Stephen Brassington if he had jumped back when the sister appeared he said: "No".

In addition to the three-year jail sentence, the doctor was also banned from having any contact with any female under the age of 21. He was told he couldn't seek any employment which would bring him into contact with females under the age of 21. He was also told he name would go on the sex offenders' register for the next 10 years, and the judge told the doctor "The GMC must decide on your fitness to practice". In addition Dr Khan will have to pay £5000 towards the prosecution costs.

Please note - all court copies are provided by South Beds News Agency, who retain the copyright for all articles published.