Trainee GP cleared by jury of sexually assaulting five patients
A trainee GP has walked free from court after being cleared of sexually assaulting five patients in ten days during a temporary posting at a Black Country surgery.
Amirul Haque was only a few weeks into a four-month placement at the Dudley practice when the allegations were made and police alerted, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
The 33-year-old said: "I am relieved by the verdict, and thankful to my family and friends for their continued support. I look forward to rebuilding my life and the opportunity of returning to practice in the future."
He was accused of thrusting his groin into the back of patients and unnecessarily placing his hands inside underwear and exposing their breasts during half hour consultations that were three times longer than normal because of his inexperience.
A women with swollen ankles claimed to have been horrified when the 33-year-old started checking her breasts.
A fellow patient suffering from a sore throat told the jury how the doctor allegedly pulled her towards him while standing behind her and 'thrust' himself up and down on her.
Another woman with a suspected eye infection was allegedly asked when she last had sex and if she had ever had venereal disease.
A further patient claimed she was sexually assaulted while seeking treatment for an ear ache.
Mr Philip Bradley QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "If Doctor Haque acted in the way these women have alleged there could be no medical justification for doing so and he did this in the furtherance of his own sexual gratification.
"He breached General Medical Council guidelines on intimate examination not inadvertently but because it was necessary to do so to commit these offences."
But the doctor, who was of previous good character, insisted he had done nothing wrong and maintained the complainants were either mistaken or lying.
He suggested there may have been collusion between the five women and their complaints had not been made independently of each other.
A post referring to the doctor's alleged behaviour had been placed on Facebook before any patient had made an official complaint, the jury were told.
It was later taken down at the request of the Dudley practice.
The defence suggested it would be reasonable to infer there may have been collusion between some or all of the women protesting about Dr Haque, who was of previous good character.
Judge Amjad Nawaz told the jury during his summing up of the case that to convict they had to be sure that each complainant was acting independently without their evidence being 'contaminated' by that of any of the others.
The defendant was nearing the end of his formal training following five years at medical school when he arrived at the Dudley practice. It was not the first time he had taken up such a placement and had been having contact with patients for several years.
The trainee GP was suspended following complaints about his behaviour from two women patients and was arrested four days later as the number of complainants reached five.
He was twice interviewed under caution by officers but chose not to answer their questions.
He handed over a prepared statement which read: "I deny all the allegations. Any touching of the patients would purely be for medical examination not sexual gratification."
The jury acquitted Dr Haque, from Ladypool Road, Balsall Common, of five charges of sexual assault.
The verdict came a couple of years after he was acquitted by a jury at Teeside Crown Court of indecently assaulting a woman patient at the hospital where he was working.
The costs of the latest case will be paid out of public funds.
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