Welwyn Hatfield Times
Sex assault doctor ‘was trying to manipulate my mind’ says victim
Monday, March 25, 2013
By David Burke
Shamed Dr Harmadan Singh was spared jail by a judge, but told he was unlikely to ever practice again.
Jurors heard the 67-year-old had touched the patient in a sexual way during a consultation, and had made her undress.
The assault was branded a “breach of trust” which caused the 30-year-old woman anxiety and distress – worsening the conditions Dr Singh was supposed to be treating her for.
After the guilty verdict, the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – told the WHT: “The ultimate thing I felt was embarrassment of allowing someone to do that to me.
“I just feel like he manipulated the situation, he was trying to manipulate my mind.”
During two consultations in 2011, Singh had twice asked her to remove her trousers, claiming he was checking for a hormone imbalance.
On the second occasion, he fondled her between her legs, and was clearly aroused.
The patient, who was being treated for anxiety, depression and panic attacks, said the assault had a huge impact on her.
She told the WHT: “It affects every aspect of your life, in the way you conduct relationships with people and whether you trust them.
“It affected everything, it affected me being able to give people a hug, it affected me when I was in a crowd of people.
“It took a long time to come to terms with the fact that not everyone was bad.”
Despite the ordeal, the patient says she only felt anger at the psychiatrist’s lies, and was glad he had been found guilty.
After the trial, which saw her testify from behind a screen, she said: “I didn’t feel angry, but I was scared of going to court.
“I was just pleased that they believed me.
“It wasn’t that I was so bothered about the punishment, I just wanted to make sure he couldn’t do it again.”
Giving evidence from behind a screen, she told the court: “The way he was touching me was sexual, not like the way a doctor does it.”
But she said because he was in a position of authority, she trusted him.
She said he questioned her about her sex life, and in the weeks that followed he rang her at home six or seven times.
Judge John Plumstead said the disgraced doctor is unlikely to practice again.
He sentenced Singh, who lives in Stevenage Road, Hitchin, to 18 months in jail, but suspended it for two years.
Judge Plumstead told him that a condition of the suspended sentence Singh is banned from working as a psychiatrist or counsellor without a chaperone being present.
He was also told he must pay his victim £1,500, as well as the prosecution’s costs of £3,500 and his name will go on the sex offenders register for the next five years.
Giving evidence Singh, who qualified as a doctor in India in 1971, said he thought she might have a hormone imbalance, and said that too much testosterone in a person’s system could promote hair growth.
The doctor said he explained to her the differences between male and female pubic hair and male hormones could affect her pubic hair.
He said because of that he asked to see it so he could briefly check its texture.
Singh said he carried out an intimate inspection solely on medical grounds.
He said he now accepted that a chaperone should have been present and the best way to check for a hormone imbalance would have been by a blood test.