Doctor jailed over secret photos
Friday 4th October 2013, 4:50PM BST.
A junior doctor who sexually assaulted and secretly photographed female patients during intimate examinations has been jailed for 18 months.
Suhail Ahmed, 28, touched the women as he removed their clothing in order to get a better view of their bodies for his mobile phone camera.
Exeter Crown Court heard Ahmed, who was working at Torbay Hospital, would section his victims’ beds off from the rest of the ward so he was alone with them.
Ahmed, of Cyncoed Road in Cardiff, then carried out intimate examinations of his patients – claiming his mobile phone was being used to time their heart rate.
The court was told some of Ahmed’s patients were in extreme pain or recovering from surgery at the time of his attacks, between March and June last year.
He was caught and suspended by Torbay Hospital in Devon when two women separately made complaints about their examinations.
A subsequent police investigation uncovered 110 images of patients at the hospital in “various stages of undress” uploaded onto his computer from his mobile phone.
Footage from a secret camera Ahmed hid in a property owned by his family was also discovered.
Ahmed later pleaded guilty to 11 counts of voyeurism and two counts of sexual assault by touching.
Judge Francis Gilbert QC jailed Ahmed for 18 months and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for the “very serious offences”.
“You have pleaded guilty to 11 counts of voyeurism and two counts of sexual assault while working as a doctor in an A&E department at Torbay Hospital,” the judge said.
“You asked female patients in their 20s to remove more clothing than was necessary for examination purposes and on two occasions you touched them.
“You then used your mobile phone during examinations to photograph those patients.
“You said you were using your phone to time their breathing or their heart rate.
“Your victims describe their distress at what you did and the continued effect it has had upon them.
“A doctor is trusted not only by his patients but also by his employers.”
Exeter Crown Court heard the offences took place at Torbay Hospital in March, April, May and June in 2012, when Ahmed was working as a trainee surgeon.
Prosecuting, David Bowen said: “The defendant from time to time used to examine female patients.
“All of the victims are female and in their 20s. The defendant took photographs with his mobile phone of the unclothed and uncovered parts of his female patients.
“Some of them were in pain, some in extremis, some were awaiting an operation and some had been operated upon.”
Mr Bowen said Ahmed also performed “perfectly appropriate” medical procedures on his patients.
In June 2012, two women complained to the hospital about their examinations and an investigation was launched, with Ahmed immediately suspended.
He was dismissed from the hospital in August 2012, after a police investigation uncovered dozens of files on his computer taken by his phone on the hospital ward.
Footage from a secret camera – also believed to have been taken last year – hidden in a property owned by Ahmed’s family was also found.
It showed young women using the bathroom.
“These files included sound and the victims have not been identified,” Mr Bowen said.
Ahmed initially denied any wrongdoing but later admitted the offences in police interview.
Mr Bowen said his victims had been left devastated by their ordeal, with one left unable to leave her house.
Defending, David Martin insisted the photographs had not been distributed or shown to anyone.
“Here is an individual who has in every way ruined his career,” Mr Martin said.
“It was a tremendous achievement to get to where he had and it has been thrown away in this ridiculous behaviour.”