Former Doctor jailed for indecent assaults - Hatfield

25/04/2016

A former Hatfield doctor appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, 22 April 2016, and was jailed for 18 months for a series of non-recent indecent assaults on patients.

Mohammed Haq, aged 74, from Parkstone Avenue, Hornchurch, Essex, was sentenced after being found guilty of five counts of indecent assault , by a jury, on 17 March 2016, after a nine-day trial at St Albans Crown Court.

In addition to the custodial sentence, Haq was ordered to pay £7,500 in costs within six months, and was put on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

The sexual assaults took place in the 1970s and early 1980s while Haq was working as a GP at the Burvill House and Hilltop surgeries in Hatfield and involved a teenage girl, who was just 15 at the time, and three other female patients.

It was discovered that he had carried out the indecent assaults during unnecessary clinical examinations. He retired as a Doctor in 2014.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved sexual activity between a man, now aged 74, a teenage girl and three women, which occurred between the late 70s and early 80s in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

"Doctor Mohammed Haq abused his position of trust as a GP and took advantage of his circumstances to sexually abuse the women, during unnecessary medical examinations, for his own sexual gratification. It is only due to the great courage of the victims that the despicable behaviour of this man has been exposed. I would like to pay tribute to them for their strength and tenacity in coming forward.

"Haq denied any sexual wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct, but on 17 March 2016, at St Albans Crown Court, he was found guilty, by a jury, after a nine-day trial, of five counts of indecent assault, despite his denials.

"This was an extremely difficult and complex case to prosecute involving numerous victims and witnesses, and evidence from medical experts to exclude any possible innocent explanation for the actions of Doctor Haq during the medical examinations.

"The convictions and sentence serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these, or those who know that such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward and that time is no barrier to justice. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with the Hertfordshire Constabulary in this case, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"Time has not diminished the effect the incidents have had on the life of the victims. They have waited over 35 years for this result. The emotional impact on the victims of the abhorrent actions of this man is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions and sentence give some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

Detective Constable Natalie Pickering, from Hertfordshire Constabulary's Sexual Offences Investigation Team, said: "I would like to pay tribute to the victims for having the courage to come forward and report these offences to police.

"I also hope this sentence reassures the public that Hertfordshire Constabulary takes all reports of sexual offences seriously, no matter how long ago the incident occurred, and will always seek to bring offenders to justice."

Judge Bright said by contesting the allegations and forcing the victims to go to court and relive their ordeals, it was clear Haq felt no remorse for his crimes.