"You were a master of deception and you abused your position"
GP Manish Shah, aged 50, of Romford, east London, has received three life sentences for 90 sexual assaults on 24 female patients.
The Old Bailey heard that Dr Shah cited the cases of Angelina Jolie and Jade Goody to persuade patients aged between 15 and 39 to undergo invasive intimate examinations for his own sexual gratification.
Shah, who claimed he had been practising “defensive medicine” was found guilty of 25 sexual offences against six victims at Mawney Medical Centre between 2009 and 2013 at a trial which concluded in December 2019.
He was previously a partner at North Avenue surgery, in North Avenue, Southend, where he specialised in family planning.
At a previous trial, Shah was convicted of 65 offences against 18 patients.
Judge Anne Molyneux QC explained that Shah had deployed “a mixture of flattery and fear” and used celebrity cases to carry out the sexual assaults.
The judge quoted a victim and said: “You made up stories which got into heads and caused panic.”
She told the GP: “You were a master of deception and you abused your position of power. This was a horrible abuse of trust and caused incalculable harm.
“The details show a pattern of behaviour over five years.
“Your behaviour was not only sexual but was driven by your desire to control and on occasions humiliate women.”
The youngest victim described feeling “anxious, fearful and shaking” at the prospect of visiting the doctor after being abused by Shah.
The woman, who was 15 at the time, told the court that she felt different about men and was worried about being seen as a “sex object”.
Rosina Cottage QC, prosecuting, said that a “lack of trust” created by Shah meant that many of the victims refused to see male doctors and that it had affected their relationships.
Shah targeted the patients’ vulnerability due to their age or family history of cancer.
He referred to Angelina Jolie having a preventive mastectomy as he asked a woman if she would like him to examine her breasts.
Shah also spoke about Jade Goody’s case to another woman, claiming that an examination was in her best interests.
Jurors heard he would not always wear gloves and even left one patient naked on an examination table.
In his medical notes, Shah tried justifying an examination by claiming it was “requested”.
He disregarded NHS guidelines on giving healthy women under 25 smear tests and routine breast examinations on women under 50, which were said to cause more harm than good.
Shah also breached guidelines on the use of chaperones during intimate examinations.
Zoe Johnson QC said in mitigation:
“Manish Shah will never again be able to practice medicine.
“The opportunity to offend and the ability to offend only arose because of Manish Shah’s profession.”
“There is not one centile of information to suggest he would offend within the community.
“Stripped of that profession he is a rather weak man.
“It goes without saying that all of these women feel grossly abused, humiliated and that the trust that they placed in Manish Shah has been so dreadfully exploited.
“He deeply regrets hurting them and cannot say sorry enough.”
Southend Standard reported that on February 7, 2020, Manish Shah was handed three life sentences with a minimum term of 15 years plus further jail terms to run concurrently.
After sentencing, Paul Goddard, of the CPS said:
“Manish Shah was a trusted family doctor, but he took advantage of that trust to abuse his female patients and then falsified their medical notes to try to justify intimate medical examinations that should not have taken place.
“The Crown Prosecution Service wishes to commend those women, who by bravely giving evidence convinced the jury of Dr Shah’s guilt.”