As reported by the BBC, we are supporting and acting on behalf of a number of victims of sexual assault, committed by Dr Manish Shah GP, of the Mawney Medical Centre, Romford. We are also supporting victims who were patients of Dr Shah at the North Avenue Surgery, Southend.
Dr Shah who specialised in family planning and gynaecology, was convicted at 2 trials in 2018 and 2019, following guilty verdicts at both trials. His patients were between the ages of 15 and 39.
He was subsequently sentenced to 3 life terms of imprisonment, on 7 February 2020.
In 2018 he was convicted of sexually assaulting 18 female patients between 2009 and 2013.
He was convicted of more than 20 sexual offences against a further 6 patients in December 2019, covering the same period, that is 2009 and 2013.
One of his victims was aged just 11.
Overall, he was convicted of assaults against 23 woman and one 15 year old girl.
At the 2019 trial he was accused of using the case of reality TV star Jade Goody, to trick a patient into an unnecessary intimate examination. It was also said that he used the story of Angelina Jolie’s preventative mastectomy to persuade a patient of an examination.
It was also said at the second trial, he hugged and kissed his patients.
At the 2 trials, in 2018 and 2019, the juries delivered guilty verdicts on 90 counts of assault. Those women were exploited by a GP who used his status to take advantage of vulnerable patients.
Judge Anne Molyneux described him as a "master of deception who abused his position of power".
"You made up stories which got into heads and caused panic”.
IBB Solicitors Providing Support
As reported by the BBC, Malcolm Underhill at IBB solicitors is acting for the women who were assaulted by the GP, Dr Manish Shah. We are supporting victims who were patients at the Mawney Medical Centre, Romford and at the North Avenue Surgery, Southend.
We are acting on behalf of a large number of women to obtain an apology, find out how Dr Shah was able to carry out sexual assaults for such a long period of time, and to secure financial compensation for the sexual assaults the women have suffered. For too long Dr Shah has been the focus of attention. It is time for the victims of Dr Shah to receive proper redress and compensation for the assaults they experienced and the continued suffering. Their experience of Dr Shah has affected the way in which they view other health professionals. We are taking legal action, on behalf of our clients, to ensure justice is done.
If you were a patient of Dr Shah, or if you worked with him at the Mawney Medical Centre, Romford, or were a patient at the North Avenue Surgery, Southend, or worked at the North Avenue Surgery, Southend, when Dr Shah worked there, you could be in a position to help the victims of sexual assaults, to obtain the compensation they deserve, which may help them recover from the assaults.
The History of the criminal case against Dr Shah
In response to 4 women making separate complaints about Dr Shah in 2013, a police investigation was launched. Dr Shah was then suspended in 2013. It was on 2 August 2017 that the case of sexual assault was reported in the media. This was Dr Shah’s first appearance in court.
At this time, east London doctor Manish Shah, a GP practicing in Romford, at the Mawney Medical Centre, was charged with a number of sexual offences. He was charged with counts of assault by penetration, counts of sexual assault and one sexual assault on a girl. The offences were said to have occurred at the Mawney Medical Centre between 2009 and 2013.
The police spoke to 139 former patients.
On 31 August 2017 Dr Shah appeared in court charged with 118 sexual offences including an offence of sexually assaulting a girl under age 13. He was accused of assaulting 54 different victims in his surgery (Mawney Medical Centre). The offences were said to have occurred between June 2004 and July 2013. He pleaded not guilty. At that time there were 65 charges of assault by penetration, 52 counts of sexual assault and one of sexual assault of a girl under age 13.
The (first) trial of Dr Shah began on the 24 September 2018 at the Old Bailey in London. Dr Shah was found guilty and convicted of sexually assaulting 18 female patients. The jury returned guilty verdicts on offences of sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by touching. A verdict is the decision by the jury at the conclusion of the trial, having heard all the evidence, from the witnesses for the prosecution and the witnesses for the defence, including the evidence given by Dr Shah GP.
He stood trial again, in October 2019, accused of sexually assaulting 8 more patients, between May 2009 and June 2013, including one aged just 11.
At this (second) trial it was said, on behalf of the prosecution that “he was obviously aware it (examining breasts) was contrary to NHS guidelines, and told the women he was offering a service available in other countries and not in the UK. He said he had recently seen two patients with breast cancer who were even younger than her. That was deliberate and intended to reassure her and reduce the risk she would question what he was doing, and it worked”.
It was also said by the prosecution that Shah attempted to justify an examination in medical notes, by suggesting it was “requested””.
The prosecution also stated Shah flouted guidelines on giving healthy women under 25 smear tests and routine breast examinations on women under 50. He also breached guidelines on the use of chaperones during intimate examinations.
At this trial he denied 13 charges of sexual assault and 21 charges of assault by penetration. However, following 5 days of deliberation the jury delivered guilty verdicts, the verdict being that Dr Shah GP was found guilty of 9 counts of sexual assault and 16 counts of sexual assault by penetration.
He was found not guilty of 5 other charges.
He was sentenced on 7 February 2020.
The Judge’s Sentencing Remarks
Judge Anne Molyneux described him as a "master of deception who abused his position of power….You made up stories which got into heads and caused panic…Your behaviour was not only sexual but was driven by your desire to control and on occasions humiliate women”
Statement by Police after Trial in December 2019 and Sentencing in February 2020
Following the conviction of Dr Manish Shah GP, Acting Detective Superintendent Richard McDonah said, “Shah was a long-serving doctor who was well-known in the community, and trusted and liked by his patients, many who had him as their GP for many years.
They were unaware that Shah was carrying out unnecessary, invasive examinations on female patients for his own sexual gratification, after giving his victims misleading clinical advice.
These offences are particularly grave due to Shah’s abuse of his position, and of the trust placed in him as a family doctor.
I would like to acknowledge the women who were victims of Shah, and who supported the prosecution and gave evidence at Shah’s trials. Without their evidence, Shah may not have been brought to justice, but the weight of evidence against him at both trials was overwhelming.”
After sentencing on the 7 February 2020, Det Supt Tara McGovern said Shah "placed himself in a busy surgery as a GP and accessed vulnerable women and preyed on their vulnerabilities so that so he could carry out unnecessary clinical examinations for his own sexual gratification."
"He has caused significant harm to these women and has betrayed the trust they placed in him as their doctor.
"It's been a long process - we've spoken to 130 women; we've taken dozens of statements and so we thank the victims for their patience."
Dr Shah GP Sexual Assault Compensation Solicitors
Our specialist Solicitor Partner, Malcolm Underhill, who leads the Assault and Abuse team, has worked for IBB Claims for over 15 years. Sexual assault compensation claims are often complex and thus a combination of Malcolm’s experience, knowledge and that he is already acting for a large number of women assaulted by Dr Shah, is a considerable advantage to those who wish to pursue a sexual assault compensation claim against Dr Shah.
One of Malcolm’s clients described him as “professional, knowledgeable and sensitive to my needs”
What our Clients have said about what we do
IBB Claims Solicitors have acted for many adults and children across the country, who have been sexually assaulted or sexually abused. We do not reveal their identity but are grateful for many of them who have expressed their gratitude for our support, in enabling them to obtain justice. We listen to our clients and fight for them. This is what some of our clients have had to say.
“My experience with IBB Solicitors was excellent from the first phone call right until the end. They don’t give up. They fight all the way to get you justice. Malcolm Underhill took my case and ran with it…”
“Precise information to me on time and at all times. Really felt they were getting the best result for me”.
"We will be forever grateful for your kind and sensitive handling of (the) case and I will, of course, have no hesitation in recommending you and IBB to any other unfortunate individual
should we come across them."
“I would recommend IBB Solicitors as they were very clear from the beginning as to the process, timescale and commitment required to obtain a positive outcome. They were also instrumental in providing the platform for me to work through the experiences I had been through by putting me in touch with the right professional persons”
(Malcolm Underhill) “always very considerate, supportive and encouraging from the outset and always had a positive opinion that I could work through this and come out with a more positive mind frame. I truly believe Malcolm had as much interest in my personal well-being as he did in obtaining the compensation fee. Without Malcolm’s consistent support and guidance to me and my parents, I am sure I would not be in the positive position I find myself in today”.
“My experience with IBB solicitors was fantastic, my case was a very sensitive one dating back to my childhood but was dealt with in a way that I could only have wished for”.
IBB solicitors are recommended because of providing “concise and precise information to me on time and at all times. Really felt they were getting the best result for me”.
(Malcolm Underhill) - “professional, knowledgeable and sensitive to my needs during this distressing case. A joy to work with”.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where did Dr Shah GP work?
Dr Mannish Shah worked at the Mawney Medical Centre, Romford. He also worked at the North Avenue Surgery, North Avenue, Southend, where he specialised in Family Planning.
When did the trials take place?
Dr Shah first stood trial in the autumn of 2018. He stood trial again in the autumn of 2019. At both trials he was found guilty. The trials were at the Old Bailey, London.
How many women were assaulted by Dr Shah GP?
The police spoke to 130 women, possibly more, who were patients of Dr Shah. It is not known precisely how many women were assaulted although he has been convicted of assaults against 24 women.
How many assaults did Dr Shah commit?
He was jailed for 90 sexual assaults on female patients.The judge said, on sentencing, that the true number may never be known.
What offences was he convicted of?
In 2018, he was found guilty of sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault by touching.
In 2019, he was found guilty of sexual assault and sexual assault by penetration.
When did the assaults take place?
The offences, for which he stood trial, occurred between 2009 and 2013.
What is going to happen to Dr Shah?
Following his conviction in December 2019, he was sentenced on 7 February 2020, to 3 life terms, with Judge Anne Molyneux stating Dr Shah will serve a minimum term of 15 years. There is no guarantee of release at that point.
What action has the GMC taken against Dr Shah?
He was suspended by the General Medical Council (GMC) in 2013. A hearing was listed before a Medical Practitioners Tribunal to enquire into the allegation that on 19 December 2018 and 10 December 2019 in the Crown Court at the Central Criminal Court, Doctor Shah was convicted of 53 counts of sexual assault by penetration, contrary to section 2 of the Sexual Offences Act; 37 counts of sexual assault, contrary to section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The virtual hearing commenced on the 4 November 2020 and ended on 5 November 2020.
Dr Shah was neither present nor represented at the hearing. However, correspondence was submitted on his behalf in which it was stated, “Dr Shah wishes the Tribunal to understand that he maintains his innocence of the matters for which he has been convicted. Nevertheless, (Dr Shah) appreciates the seriousness of his convictions and understands that the Tribunal will consider these as matters of some gravity”.
The correspondence went on to state, “Dr Shah does not wish to make any observations in relation to the convictions, or issues in relation to impairment of fitness of practise or sanction. (Dr Shah) places himself in the hands of the Tribunal as to the appropriate outcome.”
The Tribunal took account of the sentencing remarks of Her Honour Judge Molyneux, who, in respect of Dr Shah stated:
“You have been convicted of 90 offences against 24 women. The details show a pattern of behaviour over 5 years. There was planning, targeting, lying and manipulation of the women, their parents and your professional partners. You falsified notes. Your behaviour was not only sexual but was driven by your desire to control and, on occasions, humiliate women. The breach of trust is at least as damaging as the use of violence. You have also demonstrated that you consider yourself to be entitled to flout established medical guidelines , believing that you know better than professional bodies.
...The Court heard evidence from all 24 women over two trials lasting some 5 months and is able to make an assessment of them… The effect of your betrayal has been profound. The women speak of the destruction of trust and ongoing damage. Some have been unable to have necessary medical examinations because of their lasting sense of violation. Many no longer trust male doctors. Relationships have suffered, mental health has been damaged. Pregnancy and childbirth has been a source of anxiety. Your conduct has caused or contributed to these matters.”
The Tribunal also took account of the Pre-Sentencing Report of the National Probation Service, which stated:
“Dr Shah's offending appears to have been prolific with a large number of victims over a protracted period. In my view his distorted thinking is closely linked to his offending, allowing him to overcome his internal inhibitors and offend in this way. Dr Shah having breached the trust placed in him both by his victims, his colleagues and the NHS. He has attempted to justify his behaviour by stating that he was trying to save lives and he needed to do the checks… His behaviour has been deliberate and the ongoing emotional and psychological harm he has caused is likely to be significant.
When discussing the impact on the victims Dr Shah acknowledged that the victims had suffered as a result of his actions, he said that he 'deeply regrets hurting them and cannot say sorry enough' however he does not accept that he has caused any intentional harm.
…He told me that he feels he has been wrongfully convicted but that he respects the verdict of the jury. I understand that he does not intend to appeal this conviction having been unsuccessful in his appeal against his early conviction. He informed me he will always maintain his innocence.”
The Pre-Sentencing Report also stated, “…given his denial of any sexual motivation and his lack of insight into his behaviour it is possible that he could seek to put himself in a position where he can again groom women...”
The Tribunal observed that the GP had not expressed any genuine remorse, no empathy, contrition or humility. It concluded that Dr Shah had no insight into his actions.
The Tribunal concluded that erasure of Dr Shah’s name from the Medical Register was the only necessary and proportionate sanction given Dr Shah’s deplorable conduct. Erasure was the appropriate and proportionate sanction, being necessary to protect and promote the health, safety and well-being of the public, maintain public confidence in the medical profession and to uphold proper professional standards and conduct for members of the profession.
Did Dr Shah say sorry?
Dr Shah pleaded not guilty at both trials.
He said “sorry” through his barrister, at the sentencing hearing: “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."
I do not know if I was assaulted by Dr Shah. What should I do?
If you are unsure about whether you were a victim of Dr Shah, but would like to find out if you were assaulted by him, please contact us and we will discuss how we can ascertain whether you were the victim of inappropriate conduct and behaviour by Dr Shah.
I think I was assaulted by Dr Shah GP before 2009. What should I do?
Although Dr Shah has been convicted of sexual assaults from 2009, it may be that he assaulted others prior to this date. If you believe you may have been subject to inappropriate conduct and behaviour by Dr Shah, at any time, please contact us and we will discuss how we can ascertain whether you were the victim of inappropriate conduct and behaviour by Dr Shah.
What are the mental health consequences of a doctor taking advantage of their relationship with their patient?
Dr Veena Satyanarayana, associate professor in clinical psychology and consultant-trauma recovery clinic, says, “Anyone can be a perpetrator. A doctor, therefore, is no exception. Unfortunately, in this case, a doctor has misused his power and position to sexually assault vulnerable women that consulted him…. All types of sexual abuse can potentially have an adverse psychological impact on survivors. It can range from sub-clinical distress to common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, to more severe presentations in the form of post-traumatic distress disorder and complex trauma”.
Neha Cadabam, consultant psychologist, says, “Sexual abuse is in itself a very traumatic event and when it comes from a doctor, it is even more shocking. You reach out to a doctor when you are unwell and/or distressed, so you are already going through a trying time. You might be telling them things and details you might not have told anyone else. So you trust them and when that person abuses you, it leaves a mental scar”.
Is it too late to make a claim for compensation against Dr Shah GP?
The general rule is that a claim should be pursued within three years of the assault taking place. However, the patients of Dr Shah did not know they were assaulted at the time and even now, some may be unsure. Therefore, it may be possible to apply an extension to the general rule about time and bring a claim for compensation many years after the assault took place. Each case is dealt with on its own facts, so contact us and we will advise you whether it may be possible to make a claim for Dr Shah sexual assault compensation
I was a patient of Dr Shah GP at another surgery. What can I do?
Although the current allegations relate to Dr Shah’s time at the Mawney Medical Centre, if you believe you may have been assaulted prior to 2009, either at the Mawney Medical Centre, or elsewhere, including North Avenue, Southend, you may be entitled to compensation.
Contact our specialist sexual assault lawyers today
Contact our no win, no fee sexual assaults solicitors now, for advice on how to make a claim for the harm caused by sexual assaults, or to simply consider what options and possibilities are available, without any obligation. Call us today on 0333 123 9099, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our online form.