GP guilty of sexual assaults

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Dr Haleem Bhatti sexually assaulted five women

A FAMILY GP who took a sexual thrill out of conducting intimate examinations of his female patients has been found guilty of sexually assaulting five women.

Police were first alerted to the actions of Dr Haleem Bhatti in 2009 after the surgery at which he practiced in Plaistow contacted them.

Inner London Crown Court heard how the 48-year-old, from Terrace Road, E13, would encourage his female patients to remove their clothing so he could carry out unnecessary examinations of their chests, groin and thighs.

Several women approached other members of staff at the Greengate Medical Centre to complain about Bhatti’s actions and police from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Sapphire Unit at Newham launched an investigation and he was subsequently suspended by the surgery.

Bhatti was arrested on 20 July 2009, released on police bail and was further arrested for other offences before he was charged on 8 July 2010.

After an 18-day trial he was found guilty of four counts of sexual touching and one count of assault by penetration on five women aged between 28 and 46 years old over a three-year period between 2006 and 2009.

Detective Constable Andy Davenport, who led the investigation from Forest Gate police station, said: “There is no doubt that Haleem Bhatti greatly abused his position as a GP and took advantage of these women. They visited him with concerns about their general health and left the surgery feeling confused and humiliated.

“There may be further victims who are yet to come forward and report similar incidents. Should we receive any further information we will of course pursue it vigorously.

“I finally want to thank all the victims for their bravery during this investigation.”

Dr Haleem Bhatti will be sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on 9 August 2011.

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