A SCOTS doctor has escaped being struck off despite blackmailing his former girlfriend by threatening to reveal naked pictures of her.
Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan, a trainee GP in Glasgow, threatened to humiliate and shame his girlfriend by releasing the pictures to her parents if she did not keep in contact with him.
But despite finding four charges against him proved, a watchdog disciplinary panel ruled that Dr Khan’s “fitness to practice” was not impaired.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) decided against even giving Dr Khan a warning. The hearing in Manchester heard glowing tributes from colleagues of Dr Khan, who was described him as the “number one choice for a locum candidate”.
But the General Medical Council (GMC), which brought the case, had argued that the doctor’s fitness to practice was impaired.
And the outcome was condemned by patient groups who said the case would undermine the public’s confidence in the NHS.
The MPTS earlier dropped eight charges, including that he raped the woman in a Pakistani medical college, after finding there was no case to answer.
Yesterday (wed) the panel found four of the charges against the doctor, who moved to the UK from Pakistan in 2008, proved.
These included a charge he “threatened to reveal the naked photographs of Miss A to her parents if she did not maintain contact with [him]”.
The panel accepted that his actions would “have led to the disgracing of Miss A and her family” if he had released the pictures.
Another charge, that Dr Khan discussed kidnapping a friend of Miss A’s in Pakistan, was found proved although the panel found this did not amount to misconduct
Today it announced the doctor’s fitness to practice was not impaired, and the doctor has escaped any sanction.
The panel said his actions were “exceptional” in an otherwise unblemished career.
MPTS panel chair Dr Neil Fyfe said: “The Panel noted the extreme stress that you were under at the time of the events.
“You were clearly desperate, distraught and emotionally stressed by the break-up of your relationship with Miss A.
“The Panel’s judgement is that the circumstances were highly specific in nature, place and time. They were exceptional.
“Your actions related to a dramatic scenario of short duration.
“The making of threats represented an isolated incident over a short period of time, in an otherwise unblemished career.
“Although you did not admit the proven factual allegations, the Panel is satisfied that you do have insight into your misconduct.
“It has no evidence of any deep-seated character flaw and considers that the likelihood of your repeating this type of behaviour is low.
“You appear to have moved on with your life and career.”
Dr Fyfe continued: “The Panel was impressed by the testimonial evidence submitted on your behalf and by the oral evidence of two character witnesses, Dr Alastair Ireland, Clinical Director in Emergency Medicine (Glasgow), and Dr Donogh Maguire, Emergency Medicine Consultant.
“Dr Ireland stated that he had no concerns about you and was impressed by your abilities as a clinician.
“He explained to the Panel that you had performed some of the best ward round assistance shifts with him, even in the light of your facing a GMC allegation.
“He told the Panel that you are a polite, courteous and even-tempered man.
“He also explained that your interaction with female colleagues was entirely normal.
“Dr Maguire told the Panel that you are the department’s number one choice for a locum candidate and that the hospital holds you in high regard.
“You have distinguished yourself above everyone else.”
The panel had earlier ruled Dr Khan had no case to answer in relation to eight other charges, including that he raped the woman, named only as Miss A, in 2001.
Dr Khan’s lawyer Anthony Haycroft said the doctor’s conduct “revolved around an affair of the heart which was short lived at a time of extreme emotion” and that he was “ashamed” of his actions.
Mr Haycroft had earlier said the pair had “regarded each other as husband and wife”, and confirmed their love for each other by swearing on the Koran.
Sexual relationships outside of marriage are strictly taboo in many parts of Pakistan.
The representative for the General Medical Council, Bernadette Baxter, had argued that he had “breached fundamental tenets of the profession and his “integrity could not be relied upon.
Margaret Watt of the Scotland Patients’ Association said: “He shouldn’t be allowed to see females anymore without a chaperone.
“It’s totally unacceptable — A chaperone is needed.
“I’m not comfortable with the decision at all.
“How do patients get confidence in the NHS when someone does something like that?
“I think the MPTS need to look at its disciplinary procedures.
“I would expect that as part of the findings at the MPTS, he is retrained in respect and dignity.”
Announcing its decision to conclude the case without any sanction being taken, the panel said: “Having regard to all the circumstances in your case, the Panel determined that to issue a warning on your registration would be disproportionate, nor is it required in the public interest.”
An MPTS spokesman said they do not issue further commentaries on panel decisions.