London - A GP accused of molesting women patients told them about Angelina Jolie’s mastectomy and Jade Goody’s cancer to persuade them to have unneeded examinations, a court heard.
Manish Shah allegedly carried out the ‘invasive’ checks on patients as young as 11 for his own sexual gratification.
On Wednesday the Old Bailey heard how 50-year-old Shah brought up a news story about Miss Jolie’s preventative double mastectomy before asking one of his patients if she wanted her breasts examined.
The 39-year-old woman had only gone to his surgery because of pain in her hips and shoulders.
Prosecutor Kate Bex QC said: ‘He asked if she would like him to examine her breasts. He was obviously aware that it was contrary to NHS guidelines because he told her it was a service available in other countries but not the UK.’
Shah is said to have touched the woman’s breasts and nipples and at one point ran his finger along her pubic area over her trousers.
The death of reality TV star Miss Goody from cervical cancer in 2009 was mentioned to another patient before she was advised an examination was ‘in her best interests’.
Shah denies 34 sex assault charges. The jury was told the married GP has already been convicted of similar allegations relating to 17 other patients at Mawney Medical Centre in Romford, east London.
Opening the trial, Miss Bex said: ‘He took advantage of his position as a doctor to persuade women to have breast examinations, internal vaginal examinations and on occasion even rectal examinations, when there was no medical need for them to be done.’
Patients allegedly assaulted between 2009 and 2013 also included a 20-year-old woman given an internal examination after she said she was suffering from thrush, even though there were no symptoms.
‘She was five years below the appropriate age for a smear test,’ Miss Bex said.
Another alleged victim was a 17-year-old who had attended the clinic since birth and was given a hug or kiss at the end of consultations. ‘She went to the surgery as she had a rash on her abdomen. Dr Shah performed a vaginal examination,’ the prosecutor said of a 2010 visit. ‘There was some discussion recorded on her notes about her contraception but no reason is given for her to have had a vaginal examination.’
The following year the patient attended the surgery with a bruise on her back but had another vaginal examination after ‘a discussion about contraception’.
Her last appointment was in 2013, when vaginal and breast examinations were carried out and recorded as ‘req’, suggesting they had been requested.
A 22-year-old woman who had just broken up with her boyfriend is said to have had an intimate examination after she was told she needed a test for chlamydia.
And a vulnerable mother who was worried about her health following the birth of her child had her private parts penetrated during a visit, jurors heard.
A 26-year-old complained that Shah ‘seemed to me to be enjoying it’ when he pulled up her dress during a consultation.
The court heard Shah was a popular GP ‘who took time out to see his patients for more than the allotted ten minutes’.
But Miss Bex said the defendant, of Romford, breached guidelines on the use of chaperones during intimate examinations.
He did not always wear gloves and ignored NHS guidelines on not giving smear tests to healthy women under the age of 25 or routine breast examinations to those under 50, it was claimed.
The court heard a theme of the case would be the ‘sexualised behaviour’ displayed by Shah, who is already facing jail for the earlier convictions. Miss Bex added: ‘Sexual gratification was his ultimate motivation. It certainly was not the health of the patients.’
Expert witness Dr Frances Cranfield said doctors had to get patients’ permission before carrying out intimate examinations.
She added: ‘You obviously need to explain to the patient what... examination needs to be done and explain what you are going to do the examination and get consent from the patient.
‘Then you will obviously need to ask the patient, “Do you want a chaperone in while I carry out the examination?” and you need to record whether they say yes or no.’
Shah denies 13 charges of sexual assault and 21 counts of assault by penetration. The trial continues.