15 months after being accused by patient of Sexual assault, Indian origin GP exonerated in UK
London: An Indian-origin general practitioner has spoken out about the toll a jail sentence for sexual assault has taken on his life after he was exonerated of the charge following a Court of Appeal hearing in the UK.
Rajeshkumar Mehta was found guilty at a Birmingham Crown Court trial in April last year and jailed for 15 months.
The 65-year-old, who worked as a general practitioner (GP) in Birmingham before being accused by a patient of sexual assault, had the conviction quashed last week, with a full written judgement set to be handed down.
After my conviction, I lost everything. I lost my career after nearly 40 years of NHS [National Health Service] service, Mehta said in a statement.
I lost my reputation after adverse media coverage, not only following the conviction, but also following the medical regulator's decision to strike me off the medical register, instead of waiting for the outcome of the ongoing appeal, he said.
Mehta was struck off Britain's General Medical Council register following a hearing by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service. It was claimed that during an examination, the GP allegedly wrongly touched the female patient in question and asked her inappropriate questions about her sexual history.
But last Friday, Mehta had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal after new evidence came to light showing the patient may have lied under oath.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and West Midlands Police have a lot to answer for; in my case, their disclosure failings contributed to a catastrophic outcome, and, whilst I have already served my sentence, I hope that my case will further highlight the need for them to perform their obligations properly, said Mehta, whose union hopes to have him reinstated on the medical register.
A CPS spokesperson said it was incorrect to claim that it failed in its disclosure obligations in the case.
The material that formed the basis of the grounds of appeal was not in the possession of the CPS at the time of the original trial, and the Court of Appeal did not suggest that the prosecution had failed in our duties of disclosure, the spokesperson said.