Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham surgeon Nafees Hamid jailed for patient sex attacks

Nafees Hamid Image copyright PA
Image caption Birmingham neurosurgeon Nafees Hamid had denied carrying out the sex attacks on patients at the Queen Elizabeth and Priory hospitals

A neurosurgeon has been jailed for 16 years after being found guilty of nine indecent assaults against patients at two Birmingham hospitals.

Nafees Hamid, 51, had denied a total of 15 charges relating to 10 women between 2009 and 2013 at the city's Queen Elizabeth and Priory hospitals.

A jury at Birmingham Crown Court convicted him of assaults on six patients.

In passing sentence, the judge said it was "the most extreme breach of trust".

Judge Patrick Thomas QC, who heard that Hamid will now be struck off, also ordered him to sign the sex offender register for life.

He told Hamid witnesses had spoken highly of his clinical skills, but he had been "brought low by a simple failing - lust".

"And you exercised your lust as a result of arrogance," he said.

"These ladies went to see you because they had significant problems and they thought - with your skills, abilities and experience - you were the person who could help them with the medical problems.

"Instead, you grossly abused them."

During the eight-week trial the spinal surgery specialist, of Russell Road, Moseley, Birmingham, told the court some of the alleged attacks did not happen, while others were legitimate examinations which had been misconstrued.

However, one expert witness told jurors Hamid had performed "inappropriate and medically unjustifiable" examinations, ignoring General Medical Council guidelines.

'Sickened' colleagues

Among the victims he was convicted of assaulting was a woman in her mid-20s whose complaint led to Hamid's arrest in November 2013.

The patient, who cannot be named, told jurors she felt "frozen to the spot" as she was subjected to an assault at the private Priory Hospital in 2013.

The eight other counts on which Hamid was convicted relate to five women who attended hospital for a variety of complaints between January and September 2012.

Det Insp Ian Ingram, from West Midlands Police, praised the first woman for her courage in coming forward.

"She went home, spoke to her family, and straight away contacted the police," he said.

Mr Ingram said the delays in the other five victims coming forward showed the "power" Hamid had over them.

"He was in that position of trust. They doubted whether they would be believed, doubted whether it was medically justified what he had done," he said.

He said police could not rule out the chance that more patients were abused by Hamid.

"It may be that we get further victims come forward. It's important that if they do, we will help them," Det Insp Ingram continued.

"And it might show that it's been occurring over a longer period."

The Crown Prosecution Service said Hamid had used his position to carry out "intrusive and inappropriate examinations on vulnerable women" to satisfy his "personal sexual gratification".

Crown advocate Aliya Rashid said the examinations had left the women "shocked, confused, embarrassed and deeply upset".

The court heard Hamid encouraged some of his patients to remove their clothing and on occasions, removed their clothes himself without a chaperone present.

'Brought disrepute'

Speaking after the conclusion of the trial Dame Julie Moore, chief executive of Queen Elizabeth University Hospitals NHS Trust, said she and her colleagues had been "sickened" by the surgeon's actions.

"We're deeply sorry that these offences have occurred and brought disrepute to his profession," she said.

"The trust between a doctor and his patient is sacred and the fact that it has been breached in this way is despicable."

The Priory Hospital said safety was its first priority and Hamid's contract was suspended as soon as concerns came to light and had set up a dedicated phone line for patients who might have concerns.

The Queen Elizabeth hospital trust said it would now complete its own investigation.

Its inquiries have already revealed an email from a patient sent to the trust's Patient Advice and Liaison Service in 2009, complaining of "inappropriate behaviour" by Hamid during an outpatient appointment.

The trust said its executive team were not aware of the email until letters were sent out to the surgeon's patients in November 2013.

It said the member of staff who dealt with this complaint no longer works at the Trust and guidelines had been reinforced to current staff.

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