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Doctor cleared of indecent assault

PUBLISHED: 11:14 13 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:55 03 March 2010

A FAMILY doctor accused of indecently assaulting nine female patients at his surgery has spoken of his delight after being cleared of all charges.

Dr Abdullah Hoodbhoy, 58, of Long Road West, Dedham, was accused of conducting unnecessarily lengthy breast, thigh and vaginal examinations on several different patients.

A FAMILY doctor accused of indecently assaulting nine female patients at his surgery has spoken of his delight after being cleared of all charges.

Dr Abdullah Hoodbhoy, 58, of Long Road West, Dedham, was accused of conducting unnecessarily lengthy breast, thigh and vaginal examinations on several different patients.

The GP had pleaded not guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to 14 charges of indecent assault on nine different women during consultations at the Riverside Health Centre in Manningtree.

He was alleged to have carried out the assaults on the women, aged in their late teens to their early 30s, between January 1999 and January 2001.

After three weeks of evidence, the jury of six men and six women returned not guilty verdicts on all counts after an hour of deliberation.

Upon hearing the verdict the doctor immediately went to the back of the court to hug his family.

A statement later issued on Dr Hoodbhoy's behalf read: "I am delighted that I have been found not guilty on all charges. I am very grateful to my family, friends, colleagues and patients who have stood by me during this difficult time. I have nothing further to add."

Paul Watson, medical director for Essex Health Authority, said: "Dr Hoodbhoy was suspended from NHS general practice by the NHS Tribunal and remains suspended.

"We will now consider the implications of the court's decision and will invite Dr Hoodbhoy to discuss his intentions and practice. In the meantime, arrangements continue for the care of his patients through locum cover."

During the case, the prosecution claimed the doctor carried out lengthy breast, thigh and vaginal examinations for his own pleasure and not for medical reasons.

Four of the women were pregnant and attended the surgery for anti-natal care; two consulted Dr Hoodbhoy for the morning after pill and two for the contraceptive pill. Another went to him with knee injuries and headaches.

The defence maintained during the case that Dr Hoodbhoy had carried out the examinations for proper medical purposes.

The first complaint had been made against the GP in February last year resulting in a police investigation to see if the allegation was isolated. Following publicity through the media, more women came forward and made complaints.

After the verdict, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Adams, who led the investigation, said: "We have been concerned from the outset of our investigation with one simple question – did the female witnesses in this case receive proper and professional medical care or were they subject to criminal assault?

"We have gone to great lengths to work with medical professionals and the health authority to present the case to a jury so that they have all the information before them to enable this question to be answered.

"Clearly they do not believe that Dr Hoodbhoy's actions were criminal. I believe my officers have conducted a thorough investigation and I am certain that all the available evidence was placed before the court."

In his summing up Mr Justice Harrison described Dr Hoodbhoy as a respected GP who also treated his patients with respect. The doctor has practised in Britain since 1967 becoming a GP in Manningtree in 1973.


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