Jail term cut for pervert Plaistow GP
PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 May 2012
» A perverted family doctor who abused his position to prey on a string of female patients has had his jail sentence reduced on appeal.
Dr Haleem Bhatti, 50, of Ajax Avenue, Barnet, was working at the Greengate Medical Centre, in Plaistow, between 2006 and 2009 when he groped the breasts and private parts of five women “with no medical justification”.
Bhatti, currently suspended by the General Medical Council, was jailed for seven years at Inner London Crown Court in August last year after being convicted of four counts of sexual assault and one of assault by penetration.
Lord Justice Moses, Mr Justice Cranston and Judge Melbourne Inman QC, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court on Tuesday, cut that term to five-and-a-half years after noting that Bhatti will never again work as a doctor.
The court heard the GP groped young women who came to see him with ailments completely unrelated to their erogenous zones.
A woman who had a tingling feeling in her hands was groped on both breasts and her pubic area, while another who had a rash on other parts of her body had her breasts “massaged”.
After hearing submissions that the doctor’s hitherto blameless reputation and career had been ruined by his convictions, Lord Justice Moses allowed his appeal.
He told the court: “This appellant is a doctor who sexually assaulted five different lady patients. He is still a doctor but will be inevitably struck off. This was a man of whom many spoke highly, who was dedicated to charity work and political activism which included, somewhat paradoxically, the fight for women’s rights.”
“He will never again work as a doctor. This was a devastating betrayal of trust. It can hardly be imagined how degrading it is for those who seek the help to be assaulted in this manner.”
“However a sentence of seven years imprisonment in this case was too high.”
“We think that a total sentence of five and a half years imprisonment would have properly reflected the gravity of the offences, and the consequences for the victims as well as the doctor,” the judge concluded.
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