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Surgeon sex offender gets 16 years

A disgraced neurosurgeon convicted of multiple sex offences against vulnerable female patients has been jailed for 16 years.

Nafees Hamid had earlier been found guilty of nine sex assaults against six women between 2012 and 2013, after a lengthy trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

The 51-year-old was cleared by the jury of further counts of sexual assault relating to four other women.

The offences were all carried out by Hamid, a highly regarded and award-winning specialist neurosurgeon, at the city's Queen Elizabeth and Priory Hospitals

Passing sentence, Judge Patrick Thomas QC told Hamid: "You are without question in my experience the most intelligent man I have ever seen in the dock of a criminal court.

"You, through hard work and devotion to your course of studies, rose high within your profession to become an enormously respected consultant neurosurgeon at one of the great hospitals in our region."

The judge said everybody in Hamid's trial had spoken highly of his clinical skills, but added: "You were brought low by a simple failing - lust.

"And you exercised your lust as a result of arrogance. You liked doing what you did, touching sexually your female patients, and you took the opportunity to do it because you could."

The judge added of the offences: "This is the most extreme breach of trust.

"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."

A two-month trial heard that Hamid, of Russell Road, Moseley, Birmingham, committed the offences by indecently touching patients, some of whom were questioned about their sex lives during intimate examinations.

Two of the six victims were assaulted on more than one occasion, while four of them were subjected to attacks lasting several minutes.

Hamid denied a total of 15 charges relating to women aged between mid-20s and mid-60s, claiming legitimate examinations had been misconstrued.

Judge Thomas, who heard that Hamid will now be struck off, ordered the "enormously gifted" surgeon to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Pointing out the high level of psychological harm caused to the six victims, the judge told the married father of three: "In every case the impact has been extreme and severe and, potentially at least, life-changing."

During the sentencing, Hamid showed no emotion and nodded in the direction of the judge as he was ordered to be taken to the cells.

Jurors heard that the victims, some of whom were described as vulnerable and suffering chronic and debilitating illnesses, were referred to Hamid for specialist assessment.

The trial was told Hamid encouraged some of his patients to remove their clothing and on occasions, removed their clothes himself without a chaperone being present.

He would then perform intimate examinations, sometimes without wearing gloves, and made inappropriate sexual remarks.

Expert medical opinion was sought on the examination techniques being used by the surgeon, who defended his methods of practice after his arrest, saying some had misconstrued what he was doing while others made up their accounts.

But an expert witness told jurors that Hamid performed "inappropriate and medically unjustifiable" examinations, ignoring General Medical Council guidelines.

At the start of the trial it was alleged that Hamid also failed to record his findings accurately to cover his tracks.

Commenting on the verdicts, Crown Advocate Aliya Rashid, who acted as junior prosecution counsel, said: "Nafees Hamid, whilst in a position of high trust, carried out intrusive and inappropriate examinations on vulnerable women while masking his true purpose, which was personal sexual gratification.

"These examinations left women, shocked, confused, embarrassed and deeply upset.

"Many were fearful about reporting one of the most highly esteemed consultant neurosurgeons to the authorities.

"It is due to their courage and the cogent evidence they gave that Hamid has been found guilty today of his crimes."

Lisa Windridge, senior Crown prosecutor from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's public protection unit, said: "This case is an example of a gross breach of trust at the highest level and I would like to thank all those victims who came forward and assisted the whole of the prosecution team in exposing this man."

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