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Doctor guilty of sex assault on girl

PUBLISHED: 10:24 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:16 05 July 2010

A doctor said to be obsessed with child porn was last night facing a lengthy jail term after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a Norfolk hospital by pretending to perform an abortion.

A doctor said to be obsessed with child porn was last night facing a lengthy jail term after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a Norfolk hospital by pretending to perform an abortion.

Rashid Sandhu, who was working as an A&E doctor at the James Paget University Hospital (JPH) at Gorleston, admitted having a stash of more than 170 pornographic images of children on his home computer.

It is thought Sandhu's unhealthy obsession with the child images led him to sexually assault a teenage girl after she had gone to see him about stomach and urinary pains.

The Pakistan national inserted tubes in the girl and rubbed her breast with gel after tricking her into thinking she needed an abortion and taking her to his office at the hospital.

He got the girl to pose like one of the pornographic images on his computer and also asked if he could take a photo of her naked.

The career of the once well-respected doctor, who is estimated to have earned more than £75,000 a year, now lies in ruins after he was convicted by a Norwich Crown Court jury of sexually assaulting the girl following an eight-day trial.

Before the start of his trial, Sandhu, formerly of Hopton, near Yarmouth, admitted possessing more than 170 child porn images on his computer and he had stored links to sex internet sites. The discovery was made after he was arrested for sexual assault and his home was searched.

Sandhu was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Friday, May 23.

Following any sentence, it is likely he could face deportation as he was granted permission to come to Britain as a skilled migrant worker in 2002 and was a brilliant medical student back in Pakistan.

His conviction means Sandhu will now be required to sign on the sex offenders register and the prosecution is also looking to make a sexual offences prevention order which could ban him from ever working with children.

Sandhu, who is married to another doctor and has a young child, was immediately suspended from duties at the hospital as soon as the investigation into the allegations began in early June last year.

Investigating officers have been working closely with senior managers at the James Paget University Hospital and received total co-operation throughout the inquiry.

Investigating officer Det Insp Matt Sharman from the Child Abuse Investigation Unit said: “As with all cases where children are the victims of abuse, my thoughts are with the girl involved.

“She and her family have behaved with real maturity throughout the investigation and it is my sincere hope that she can now put the matter behind her.

“Dr Sandhu was working in a position of ultimate trust and he betrayed that trust. His actions may have lasting effects for which it is only right that he should be punished. It was a huge betrayal of trust for a doctor to have done something like that.”

During the trial, the court heard how Sandhu lured the girl into the office after she had gone to the JPH with a 15-year-old friend to say they both had stomach pains and had problems going to the toilet.

After an initial examination, Sandhu accessed the JPH system to get the girl's phone numbers and during several telephone calls

falsely told them they might be pregnant and needed to see him the next day.

Sandhu told the two girls to meet him at a bus stop and then took them into the hospital through a side door and into an office to carry out further checks and procure an abortion on the 13-year-old.

The matter came to light when the 13-year-old told staff at her school and police were called in to investigate.

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