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Sex-assault doctor jailed

PUBLISHED: 14:30 24 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:29 05 July 2010

Jailed: Rashid Sandhu

Jailed: Rashid Sandhu

A DOCTOR said to be obsessed with child porn was last night starting an eight-year jail sentence for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a local hospital by pretending to perform an abortion.

A DOCTOR said to be obsessed with child porn was last night starting an eight-year jail sentence for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a local 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.

Prosecutors said Sandhu, used the girl to recreate a pornographic image he had seen on his computer.

The Pakistan national inserted tubes in the girl and rubbed her breast with gel after tricking her into thinking she needed an abortion after she had gone to see him about stomach and urinary pains.

Norwich Crown Court heard how the career of the once well-respected doctor now lies in ruins after Sandhu, 30, formerly of Hopton, near Yarmouth, was convicted by a jury of sexually assaulting the girl. He had earlier also admitted possessing child porn images and appeared for sentence yesterday.

Jailing him Judge Simon Barham told him: “The offence amounts to the gravest abuse of trust owed by you as a doctor to a patient.”

He said he had showed a high degree of manipulative and predatory behaviour. “It was the culmination of careful planning.”

Sandhu was also banned from ever working with children and placed on the sex offenders register for life.

However Judge Barham did not make any recommendation for deportation but said he would leave the matter to the Home Office.

He also commended Norfolk police for their work in the case, particularly Det Con Adrian Greaves.

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.

John Donnolly, mitigating, said Sandhu, had been an exceptional medical student with a “glittering” career ahead of him.

“This man had a true vocation from an early age,” he said.

“It's a tragedy. He is from an especially hard-working military family in Pakistan and was an exceptional student.

“Among his peer group, he was top of the class.”

Mr Donnolly said it was “almost inevitable” that Sandhu's medical career was now over.

After the case Det Insp Matt Sharman, from the Child Abuse Investigation Unit said: “This case shows that it doesn't matter if you're a doctor or a dustman - if you decide you are going to abuse children, you will be dealt with.”

“The images on his computer and the lengths he went to in order to target the girl in this way all show a great deal of planning and forethought.”

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 girls' 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.

Following the case the JPH, which employed Sandhu, said it carried out full checks before employing him as a specialist registrar in accident and emergency.

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