LONDON: A doctor from North Lanarkshire Dr. Krishna Singh has been jailed for 12 years after being convicted of a campaign of sexual abuse over nearly four decades.
According to a BBC report, Krishna Singh, 72, kissed, groped, gave inappropriate examinations and made sleazy comments to 47 patients in various medical settings.
He was convicted last month of 54 sex offence charges against women and girls over 35 years. The patients included a rape victim, teenage children and pregnant women.
His trial at the High Court in Glasgow was told that Singh was a sexual predator “hiding in plain sight”.
It has led to calls for a full public inquiry into why authorities did not stop his behaviour sooner. The judge described the GP’s serial offending between February 1983 and May 2018 as “calculated and manipulative”.
Lord Armstrong told Singh: “You abused this position to carry out unnecessary physical examinations of a sexual nature including examinations without a chaperone and in circumstances where there were no clinical justifications for your actions.”You undermined the standing of the medical profession and eroded the trust of the female patients.”
The judge noted he had not expressed regret as he had not accepted responsibility.
Lord Armstrong added: “Society is is abhorrent to such conduct and the court must reflect that as it is important people who commit these crimes in the way you did know they will be brought to justice.”
The GP, who was awarded an MBE in 2013, had denied the charges. After his conviction police confirmed that four more women have made complaints about Singh, whose practice was in Coatbridge health centre. Officers said the complaints made so far were “the tip of the iceberg”.
Det Insp Stephen Morris described Singh’s behaviour as “appalling and predatory”, and he praised the woman who came forward. “The victims have shown great courage in coming forward with vital information, making sure he was held accountable for his actions, and ultimately convicted,” he said.
Meanwhile Laura Connor, a partner at Thompsons Solicitors who represented some of Singh’s victims, said his conviction should not be the end of the matter.
“Questions must now be asked about how this sexual predator hid in plain sight for so long while carrying out his crimes,” she added. “The victims and the wider community deserve nothing less than a full public inquiry into why the authorities did not put a stop to Singh sooner.”
The firm last month said it would begin civil proceedings against relevant authorities in order to secure compensation for victims. Singh became a GP in the area in the early 1980s and went on to serve as a police casualty surgeon, which included examining victims of sexual violence.
An investigation was launched into his behaviour when one woman reported him to authorities in 2018. A letter was then sent to all patients at the practice to see if they could help in the police inquiry.
Among the witnesses who gave evidence was a 50-year-old hospital worker who had reported being raped. She was examined by Singh at a police station in Motherwell in March 2008. ‘No professional should act like that’
The woman said the GP asked her whether she had been wearing a skirt and whether sex was consensual. She said he went on to molest her. She told the court: “He asked how low my top was and if my cleavage was showing. He was asking if I was being provocative. He said ‘so, you are not a good time girl’.”
Another woman who saw Singh while she was a teenager said he would “press and prod” around her pant line during check ups on a sore throat.
She said his behaviour became a “running joke” between her friends. The woman said: “If that was my daughter, I would be sitting in the dock on a murder charge. No professional should act like that.”
A man told the court he threatened to assault Singh after catching him groping his pregnant wife at an appointment in the mid-1990s. Many women became so uncomfortable going to see the GP that they brought a friend or relative to appointments. One woman tried to make her medication last longer to delay having to go back and see him.
The jury heard that victims were often hesitant about reporting Singh through the years. Women felt they would not be heard as Singh was latterly senior partner at the surgery and his wife was practice manager.
Prosecutor Angela Gray told the trial that Singh had been in a routine of abusing his position to offend against women. She said: “Sexual offending was part of his working life. Access to women as and when the situation arose and taking the chances when he could.”
Dr Linda Findlay, medical director for South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said Singh’s actions had been a “despicable breach of trust and a total abuse of the patient-doctor relationship”.
Singh was also put on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period. The General Medical Council confirmed Singh was currently “interim suspended” pending the conclusion of an investigation. The interim suspension was imposed by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.
One of Singh’s victims told BBC Scotland she was “ecstatic” that he had finally been brought to justice. The woman, who is in her late 30s, was targeted by the predator when she was just 15.
She recalled: “Each and every doctor’s appointment, for as far back as I can remember, I was told the exact same thing, no matter what I was there for: ‘Take your trousers and pants down to just below pant level and lie up on the bed.’ “He would just poke and prod and touch all round that area.”
The woman added: “If the doctor tells you to lie up on the bed so he can feel your stomach, then you do it. “I did have stomach issues but he used that at every appointment.”
The woman added her medical history became “the key in the door” even, for example, when she attended for cellulitis on the back of her heels.
Reflecting on her experiences, she told BBC reporter Catriona Renton: “It does not go away. It does not ever go away. “If I wake up in the middle of the night, it is his face I see coming towards me.”