A Pakistani doctor who groped a 21-year-old student nurse before blaming the incident on ‘cultural norms’ in the UK will keep his job.
Imran Qureshi, 44, grabbed the woman’s breast and told her he wanted an affair as he saw her as ‘sexually available’ due to her having had boyfriends.
The victim, identified only as Miss A, was ‘shaken up and distraught’ after the incident, which happened on a ward in Trafford General Hospital in Davyhulme, Greater Manchester.
Qureshi was ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register last year after he was convicted of sexual assault.
But the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester concluded that erasing his name from the Medical Register ‘would be disproportionate, punitive and not in the public interest’.
He was instead suspended for a year.
Panel chairman Nicholas Flanagan told the doctor: ‘Given the length of time you had been in the United Kingdom at that stage and the fact you were fully aware of the differences in culture, because of your experiences with your wife, you should have recognised Ms A’s reluctance in light of your shared cultural understanding.
‘The Tribunal concluded there is a low but nevertheless not insignificant risk of harm to another individual by a repetition of your behaviour.’
He added: ‘You stated this was an isolated case, and that you will never cross boundaries in this manner again. You told the Tribunal you are the main culprit, that you and your family suffered, as well as the complainant and her family.’
Qureshi had claimed he made a ‘misjudgement’ on June 3, 2015 and failed to spot a ‘red light’ warning him not to make an advance towards the Muslim student.
Rebecca Vanstone, counsel for the General Medical Council, said: ‘He told Miss A she was beautiful and asked whether she had a boyfriend. He then said he was not happy in his marriage and wanted an affair.
‘Shortly afterwards Miss A was in the ward kitchen when he entered the room and closed the door behind him. He asked whether she had a thyroid problem before feeling her neck.
‘She was backed into the corner when the registrant touched her chest at the top where her breasts start. She said he put his fingers there for a few seconds before she pushed them away.
‘Then he grabbed her right breast for a few seconds. Miss A said he was laughing and trying to make light if the situation and then became aggressive and said that friends do what he was trying to do.’
But Qureshi’s lawyer Lee Gledhill said: ‘This was a moment of madness, a short, brief period of touching due to him misreading the signals.
‘It has had a profound impact on his personal and financial life but he has had a long time to think about his actions and he is extremely remorseful.’
In June 2016, Qureshi was sentenced at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester to a 12-month community order and subsequently lost appeals against his conviction.