'Deceptive' GP who molested 24 female patients during intimate exams jailed for life

A ‘deceptive’ GP who used female patients’ cancer fears to give them intimate examinations for his own sexual pleasure has been jailed for life.

Manish Shah, 50, was branded a ‘master of deception’ after being convicted of 90 sexual offences against 24 women.

Manish Shah has been sentenced for molesting his patients. (PA Images)
Manish Shah has been sentenced for molesting his patients. (PA Images)

He used patients’ cancer concerns to persuade women as young as 17 to let him perform intimate examinations on them for his own sexual gratification, the Old Bailey was told during his trial.

The examinations were unnecessary and between May 2009 and June 2013 he assaulted six patients at Mawney Medical Centre in Romford, east London, the court heard.

Shah, 50, of Romford, had denied the charges, claiming he had practised what he called “defensive medicine” but he was found guilty of 25 sexual offences against the six victims.

File photo dated 31/08/17 of Manish Shah who has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of 25 sexual offences against six victims.
Manish Shah in 2017. (PA Images)

He has already been found guilty of similar offences against other women, bringing the total number of victims to 24.

Shah was handed three life sentences on Friday and ordered to serve at least 15 years.

Fifteen of the victims sat in the Old Bailey on Friday as Shah was sentenced by Judge Anne Molyneux QC.

The judge said Shah had deployed a “mixture of flattery and fear” and quoting one of his victims, the judge said: “You made up stories which got into heads and caused panic.”

The judge went on: “You were a master of deception and you abused your position of power. This was a horrible abuse of trust and caused incalculable harm.”

Earlier, the youngest victim described being left “anxious, fearful and shaking” at the prospect of visiting the doctor after being abused by Shah said she felt different about men and worried about being seen as a “sex object”.

His lawyer Zoe Johnson QC said: “He deeply regrets hurting them and cannot say sorry enough.”

Shah’s victims were commended by the Crown Prosecution Service.

During the trial, prosecutor Kate Bex QC told jurors that Shah played on the women’s worries about cancer to get them to consent to the unnecessary examinations but said they were not properly informed.

She said that some of the victims were especially vulnerable because of their young age or because their family had a history of the disease.

Ms Bex said: “Fear is an incredible motivator and few health concerns are scarier than cancer.

“Dr Shah exploited that and used it for his own personal gratification.”

Angelina Jolie attends the �Maleficent: Mistress of Evil� European Premiere at the BFI Imax, Waterloo. (Photo by Gary Mitchell / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Shah used stories about Angelina Jolie to convince his victims to allow him to perform unnecessary examinations on them. (Photo by Gary Mitchell / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Jade Goody arrives for the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of The Year Awards, at The Waldorf Hilton Hotel in central London.
Shah mentioned Jade Goody to patients as he sought sexual gratification with unnecessary examinations. (PA Images)

Shah used a news story about Hollywood star Angelina Jolie having a preventative mastectomy when he asked a woman if he could examine her breasts, and mentioned reality TV star Jade Goody - who died of cancer - when he told another that an examination was in her best interests, the court heard.

Ms Bex described Shah’s behaviour as “sexualised” and told jurors that he gave patients hugs and kisses, singling some out as “special” and his “star”, and saying he had a soft spot for them.

He did not always wear gloves and one patient was left naked on an examination table, the court was told.

Shah tried to justify an examination by suggesting it was “requested” in his medical notes, jurors were told.