Manish Shah, 53, was given two life sentences on Monday, each of which will begin to run concurrently after serving a minimum of 10 years. According to the BBC, Shah was convicted last month of 25 sexual assaults against four women at his GP office in Romford, east London.
The British-Indian General Practitioner (GP) who had already been found guilty of 115 counts of sexual assault against 28 women was given two additional life sentences for doing intrusive tests that weren’t necessary.
Judge Peter Rook stated during Shah’s sentencing at the Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, that the “scale and nature” of his crimes still made him a “danger to women.”
Shah, according to prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones KC, “took advantage of his position to persuade women to have invasive vaginal examinations, breast examinations, intimate examinations, when there was no medical need for them to be conducted.”
Manish Shah, 53, was a partner at the Mawney Road medical practice in Romford, east London, where he forced his victims to undergo unnecessary intimate examinations for his own sexual gratification. By complimenting them profusely and making up cancer danger in order to justify intimate examinations, he groomed young patients.
Following sexual assaults, Shah falsified the records by claiming that patients had asked for intimate examinations during one-on-one consultations and that they had been accompanied by chaperones.
The general practitioner (GP) convinced female patients to submit to invasive examinations by citing high-profile examples involving celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Jade Goody. Shah was a “well-regarded” general practitioner with often booked appointments, but the court heard that in reality he “abused and manipulated” women.
According to the BBC, he presented himself as a compassionate and sensitive doctor who was willing to go “above and beyond” for his patients by performing additional examinations. Some of Shah’s victims testified in court that he would refer to them as his “star,” “special girl,” and “favourite.”
In a 2020 trial, Shah had told the Old Bailey that the assaults were “defensive medicine” and that he had denied any wrongdoing. After police started their enquiries, he was placed on medical practice suspension in 2013.
In February 2020, following two separate trials, the former general practitioner was found guilty of 90 sex offences against 24 victims in two Old Bailey trials, and he is currently serving three life terms with a minimum of 15 years in jail.
In December of last year, he was found guilty of an additional 25 sexual offences against four women after going through a third trial.
Shah was given two additional life terms on Monday by Judge Peter Rook KC, who told him, “There is no doubt your actions undermined patient trust in General Practitioners. It is inevitable your actions – multiple gross breaches of trust – caused or contributed to long-term psychological problems suffered by your victims.”
One of Shah’s victims described how she used to be “outgoing and a social person,” but now finds it difficult to leave the house without suffering crippling panic attacks, in court on Monday. In a victim impact statement, she stated, “I don’t go to the doctors anymore because I am always scared it may happen again.”
Another of Shah’s victims, who was only 15 at the time, was singled out because the GP concocted a fictitious cancer risk, said she was “beautiful” and may make a good model, and referred to her as his “favourite.”
She said, “Your actions, Mr. Shah, has haunted me for 12 years. They have affected very important events in my growth and development from youth into womanhood. After the last appointment, I left feeling violated and insecure”, she said, adding that she felt consumed by a “black cloud of depression and insecurity”.
Following the GP’s suspension in 2013, some of Shah’s victims did not realise they had been assaulted until they were approached by police.
When Shah’s abuse against the third victim occurred, she was 17 years old. She went to the doctor for dyslexia treatment but was persuaded to undergo regular intimate examinations.
She admitted to the court, “I no longer trust any man. I want him to stay in prison for the rest of his life and think about what he did to me and people like me. He broke my trust and everyone else’s trust. I don’t think he deserves to come out of prison and have a normal life.”
In imposing sentencing, the judge stated that Shah had been disqualified from practising medicine in the UK but is nevertheless allowed to practise medicine in other nations in the future.
Shah, according to him, still poses a threat to women because he hasn’t taken responsibility for his crimes. Shah won’t be given a chance to leave prison until December 2033. At the hearing on Monday, he was given two life sentences with ten-year minimum periods.
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