"he created fear for both my physical well-being and that of my family"
A UK doctor who beat and bullied his wife as she struggled to adapt after moving from Pakistan will keep his NHS job after he blamed his actions on his “unhappy marriage”.
Dr Abdul Basit, aged 36, grabbed his wife by the throat and manhandled her during numerous arguments.
The victim, a junior doctor whose father is a renowned physician in Pakistan, was also mocked about her academic record.
She was scared to speak about the ordeal but police were alerted in May 2016 following a violent row between Basit and his wife at her brother’s flat in Brighton.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) heard that the couple had married in Pakistan in 2015. She joined Basit in the UK in 2016.
However, over the months, Basit would belittle, push and shove his wife, referred to as Dr A, during minor arguments.
She explained: “He had been the love of my life and I came to the country with a lot of hope for the relationship.
“It was my first relationship and a commitment I had made when I married him and I wanted to fulfil it at all costs. But Dr Basit realised this and how I very much wanted it to work and the fact that despite the abuse I would stay and give him chances.
“The relationship centred around fear and he created fear for both my physical well-being and that of my family and he kept threatening me with a divorce and said he would drag my family through the courts in Pakistan.
“I was trying to save the relationship and was also worried about what complications this would have on my reputation and my family’s reputation back home. It seemed to me that I was walking on eggshells the whole time and everything was made to feel like it was my mistake.
“He told me that he did this because he wanted to break me down sociologically and emotionally but at the same time he did say that he did love me.
“This wreaked havoc with my brain for ages because I kept making up excuses for his behaviour and I was fearful of him.
“There was an episode where he grabbed my throat while we were sitting on the sofa. He would also grab my neck, squeeze it and then ask: ‘how does that feel?’ I couldn’t understand why he was doing this and he just said: ‘I am just seeing what it feels like.’
“The fear that it put in my heart made it very difficult for me to come out and say any of this to my family or the police.
“There was a lot of arguments when he pushed and shoved me. It was a very abusive controlling relationship from the start but my father is a very renowned physician and there are a lot of social pressure for things to appear in a certain way.
“It would have been quite a humiliation for my family for this to come out in court that my husband had been abusing me.
“In my first month in the UK I did not have a job and it was an expectation that he would look after me from a financial perspective but he was telling me to make do with £10 a week for lunch money.
“He would make me beg for money. It was humiliating.”
The fight at Dr A’s brother’s flat occurred after he overheard his sister crying as Basit was berating her about her academic record.
The brother, referred to as Dr B, intervened and a fight ensued.
During the scuffle, Dr A stood between them and was struck by her doctor husband. She suffered swelling and bruising to her left eye.
Dr A initially declined to make a complaint but eventually reported her husband. Dr Basit was questioned but it is thought no action was taken against him. He was later reported to the General Medical Council.
Dr A continued: “When I left the marital home I was incredibly broken. Until I filed for divorce I was still hoping that the relationship might work.
“I was still working through all the things that had happened. Things would come back to me in flashes because I had been so stressed during the period that I lived with him.
“But he described the marriage as a ‘sh.t storm’ from the start. Dr Basit did not get on with my family and my brother. He had constantly called my family names and told me I was fit to be in a brothel.
“He said he was going to tell everyone that I was having affairs with other people and he told me he would drag my father through the mud and make my sisters reputation go down the drain so she would be unable to find matches to marry.
“He also said he would destroy the careers of both me and my brother if I told police about the abuse.
“He even asked me to leave my engagement ring and a pair of earrings and necklace. By then I had stopped eating and talking I could barely breathe in this environment.
“I now know that it was an incredibly toxic relationship and I was in love with an abuser.”
The doctor initially denied any wrongdoing and claimed his wife wanted to “decimate him”. He produced footage of the fight which he “accidentally” recorded.
His lawyer Alan Jenkins said that his client has apologised for his actions and has undertaken relevant courses.
Tribunal chairman Jayne What said: “Although the doctor’s misconduct was undoubtedly serious, it is capable of remediation and it has been remedied in part by the doctor’s positive steps in undertaking and attending courses.
“There has been no repetition of his behaviour since 2016 and he has developed some insight into his behaviour and its impact upon others. Although Dr Basit’s conduct was violent, erasure is disproportionate.”
Dr Basit was found guilty of serious professional misconduct. The Daily Mail reported that he received a four-month suspension. He and his wife have now split up.