"you left me feeling violated and insecure"
Former GP Manish Shah has been handed a further two life sentences for abusing his position to sexually assault female patients by performing invasive exams on their breasts and private parts.
He was convicted of 25 sexual assaults on four women at his GP surgery between 2009 and 2013.
During this period, Shah convinced women to have invasive examinations despite there being no medical requirements for them.
He claimed that they would need extra examinations to explore if there was anything more serious than the minor conditions they had initially reported.
Each victim said Shah appeared caring and trusting at first.
None of these examinations had been requested by his patients and he had used high-profile cases of celebrities such as Jade Goody and Angelina Jolie to persuade his victims to agree to the examinations.
Shah was already serving three life sentences with a minimum term of 15 years for 90 offences.
He is now convicted of 115 offences of sexual assault and assault by penetration against 28 women aged between 15 and 34.
Prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones said Shah “manipulated and abused” women. He had exploited their fears of cancer and specific diseases in order to perform unnecessary invasive vaginal examinations and breast examinations for his own sexual gratification.
Giving evidence during the trial, some of his victims said he would call them names such as “special girl” and “star”, and that he had told one teenager that she should be a model.
Another teenager was told she had to have a vaginal examination after a conversation about the risks of cervical cancer and the importance of early examinations.
One victim, who was aged 17 to 18 at the time, had been groomed by Shah for sexual purposes and he had assaulted her each time she attended the surgery.
The GP “told her he missed her, was protective of her and wanted to check her breasts and vagina every time he saw her”.
Ms Karmy-Jones KC said: “He selected young and vulnerable women, he gained their trust by saying he cared about them and that he would carry out tests other doctors wouldn’t do.”
Shah also misrepresented his medical training in America and sought to ensure “doctor dependency” with regular appointments.
Other GPs in his practice had repeatedly expressed concerns about his examinations and a receptionist had noticed that Shah had not been using a chaperone that should have been offered to patients.
In his medical notes, the GP justified his examinations by suggesting that the patient had requested an examination and marking the appointment with the short-hand “req”, standing for “requested” or “required”.
He also falsified documents to claim that the boyfriend of one of his victims had been in attendance and that the offer of a chaperone had been declined.
In an impact statement, one victim said:
“For me personally, the journey of bringing Mr Shah to justice has been extremely difficult and had a life-changing effect on years of my life.
“Your actions Mr Shah have affected me for 12 years, affecting important years of my growth.
“Before your manipulation and abuse, I was a confident young girl, naive and innocent.
“After our last appointment, you left me feeling violated and insecure and I was left with a black cloud of depression.”
Another said she was a “shell of her former self” while another said that her life had “changed forever” after receiving a call from the police to inform her of Shah’s actions.
Despite pleading not guilty to all counts, he was convicted by the jury, eight of whom returned on January 9, 2023, for his sentencing.
He was acquitted of a further eight offences relating to another four women.
Sentencing him to a further two life sentences, Judge Peter Rook KC said:
“By 2010, you were regularly sexually abusing your female patients which you did over a three to four-year period, often carrying out intimate examinations on asymptomatic patients for your own sexual gratification.
“On the 17th of February 2022, you were sentenced for the first two indictments.
“You had been convicted of no less than 90 offences. Now you’ve been convicted of these further 25 offences of sexual assault and assault by penetration.
“That makes a total of 115 very grave sexual offences against 28 women. These are grave offences whatever the age of your victims.
“In respect of this indictment, two of the women were teenagers at the time. Your offending has a number of aggravating features.
“The scale and nature of it shows careful planning, these 25 offences were calculated, they were not opportunistic.”
“The life sentences reflect not just the total gravity of your offending but also the public horror in the abuse of your power.
“They also reflect that you remain a danger to women. I do not accept the argument by Ms Hamilton on your behalf that these offences do not justify a life sentence.”
Shah will not be eligible for parole until December 2033.