Manish Shah, 53, a general practitioner at the Mawney Road medical practice in Romford, East London, was found guilty of a total of 115 sexual offences. Shah would whip up fears over cancer and cite instances of celebrities like Angelina Jolie and reality TV star Jade Goody to carry out invasive and intimate examination of his female patients without any female chaperone.
Shah who did his MBBS at University of London in 1993 was struck off the register in 2020 after the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found that a “very significant number of victims” had “vaginal, breast and rectal examinations…without any medical need.”
On Monday, Judge Rook at the Old Bailey court sentenced Shah to life in prison after the end of trial during which the court was told that he would gain the trust and confidence of unsuspecting patients and goad them to agree for invasive examinations for his own sexual gratification. Investigations revealed a similar pattern of victims seeing him for minor conditions, but Shah, who was described as “a master of deception,” would convince them to undergo procedures that would involve him touching them inappropriately.
Prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones told the court that Shah would select “vulnerable women” and shower praises on them to gain their trust. The youngest of his over-two dozen victims was aged 15 and several of them were so traumatised by the experience that they had to move residence to ensure they didn’t have to see him again. Shah was also found to have tampered with the medical records after the sexual assaults falsely noting that the patients themselves had requested intimate examinations and had been accompanied by chaperones.
In 2018, Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy after it was discovered that she had a risk of developing breast cancer. Shah would regularly use Jolie’s example to convince vulnerable female patients of the need for breast examination. He would also regularly cite the case of Big Brother celebrity, Jade Goody, who died in 2009 after being diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Some of the victims told the court that the sexual assaults had profound impact on their lives destroying their relationship with their partners, and left them struggling with trust issues when it came to men. The statement of one of the victims was read out in the court, and this is what she said: “Your actions, Mr Shah, have haunted me for 12 years, affecting very important years of my growth from youth to womanhood.”
Detective chief inspector Tariq Farooq of the Scotland Yard in a statement said: “I would like to thank those who attended court to give evidence against Shah. I hope this verdict goes some way in reassuring the public that we treat all complaints seriously and investigate them thoroughly no matter who they are against.”
Manish Shah pleaded not guilty to the charges against him maintaining that he did the examinations only to reassure the patients. Shah will remain in prison at least till December 2033.
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