A former GP who committed 115 sexual offences against 28 women and girls as young as 15 was branded "sick and twisted" as he was handed two more life sentences. Manish Shah, 53, abused his trusted position when he persuaded female patients to undergo unnecessary intimate examinations for his sexual gratification over 4 years from 2009.
He flattered and groomed vulnerable victims and even had used the cases of celebrities Angelina Jolie and Jade Goody to instill fear so they would agree to the invasive exams then falsified records to cover it up, the Old Bailey had heard.
At the time, Shah had been a well regarded GP partner at Mawney Road medical practice in Romford, east London, but has since been suspended and later struck off.
A Total of 115 Convictions Against 28 Victims
In February 2020, Shah was handed three life sentences with a minimum term of 15 years in prison for 90 offences against 24 women after two separate trials.
A third trial ended last month in 25 more convictions for sexual offences against four more women and girls.
On Monday, Judge Peter Rook handed Shah two life sentences with a minimum term of 10 years to run concurrently with the earlier sentences. The life sentences related to offences against the two youngest victims who were aged 15 and 17 when Shah began to abuse them.
Sentencing at the Old Bailey, Judge Rook said Shah remained a "danger to women" as he highlighted the "scale and nature" of his crimes. The life sentences not only reflected their gravity but also the "public abhorrence" that followed once they came to light, he said.
Judge Rook told Shah: "You selected young and vulnerable women, gained their trust and preyed on their fears."
He said the consequence of Shah's behaviour had been to divert resources away from the NHS, damage the reputation of the surgery where he had worked, and caused "long-term psychological damage" to his victims.
He added: "There can be no doubt your actions have undermined trust in general practitioners."
Attacks 'Carefully Planned' Said Prosecutor
Prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones KC said: "All 25 offences were part of a campaign of offending involving now 115 sexual offences against 28 victims.
"It was carefully planned. There was a mixture of flattery and fear in women. He selected vulnerable women. He gained their trust by saying he cared about them, he claimed he had special skills."
The first victim, who was in her early 20s, described the devastating effect on her after police knocked on her door 8 years ago. In a victim impact statement, she said: "This triggered something in my life. I stopped being the social outgoing person overnight. I started getting panic attacks."
Shah told the second victim, who was aged just 15, that she was a "star" and his "favourite" and "would do well in modelling", while warning her she might get cancer as part of his grooming campaign. In her statement read to the court, she said: "For me personally the journey bringing Mr Shah to justice has been extremely difficult and life changing. I was only 15.
"Your actions, Mr Shah, have haunted me for 12 years, affecting very important years of my growth from youth to womanhood." Before the abuse, she was a "confident young girl" who was "naive but innocent" and now felt "violated and insecure", she said. In 2018, she was forced to move away from the Romford area for her own protection as a witness after being "verbally abused", "downgraded", and intimidated by people who could not believe what happened. She called on Shah to acknowledge the "mind blowing" damage he caused by his "sick and twisted" behaviour.
The third victim, who was abused aged 34, said Shah’s failure to admit what he had done had made things worse. "He just put me through more and more trauma. He preyed on the vulnerable," she said. "I want to move on with my life, have a good life, not the life I currently live."
The fourth victim was aged 17 and 18 when Shah sexually assaulted her almost every time she attended appointments. His abuse had led to the destruction of her relationship with her partner and left her no longer trusting any man, she said.
'Caused Great Harm To Many People': Scotland Yard
Earlier in mitigation, Amanda Hamilton said: "He has gone from a position many would envy to a position lower than most of us can imagine. He can see no end to his sentence. He does not know what is going to happen when he comes before the parole board."
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Rook noted Shah was married and still had the support of his family, there was no evidence of offending while on bail and had been a "model prisoner" since being jailed.
Paul Goddard, senior crown prosecutor with the CPS, said: "Manish Shah has today been sentenced for sexually assaulting four of his patients, in a gross and devastating breach of his profession and of the trust placed in him.
"The defendant told these women and girls lies about his experience and also about the state of their health, lies designed to convince them that repeated intimate examinations were necessary, and to conceal his true motives in carrying them out.
"These convictions, and the sentences passed, are testament to the strength and courage of the women who gave evidence against the defendant. It is thanks to their bravery and their determination that justice has now been done."
The judge imposed further determinate jail terms for the remaining counts which will also run concurrent to the life sentences.
Detective Chief Inspector Tariq Farooqi, of Scotland Yard, said: "Shah is a serial predator and someone who has targeted and caused great harm and pain to many people. I would like to, again, thank the victims and their bravery throughout this investigation.
"We do not tolerate violence against women and girls in any form and I hope this serves as another reminder that those who commit such offences will be found and justice will be served."
An NSPCC spokesperson said: "After years of living with the devasting impact of the sexual abuse and lies inflicted upon them by Shah, these two young women, who were only children at the time, have finally seen their abuser face justice – having shown huge courage in giving evidence against him. It is vital that they receive all the support they need to move forward in their lives.
"It is so important that those who have experienced child sexual abuse are empowered to speak out, with the confidence they will be listened to, regardless of how many years have passed or who the abuser is.
"They can speak to a trained child protection specialist at the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000, while Childline is there for young people on 0800 1111 or www.childline.org.uk."
This article contains information from PA Media.