Doctor escapes jail after attacking teen with walking stick

A hospital consultant who launched a sustained assault on a teenage girl has walked free from court.

Saturday, 27th February 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Saturday, 27th February 2016, 3:05 pm
Dr Gohar Rahman

Heart specialist Dr Gohar Rahman used a walking stick to strike the girl and also repeatedly kicked her as she lay on the ground.

Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday, Friday, that he has already been punished by having restrictions placed on his clinical work and he faces disciplinary proceedings.

The judge, Recorder Abigail Hudson told the 57-year-old cardiologist at Wigan Infirmary that only a custodial sentence was appropriate for the offence which happened after he lost his temper and he called her abusive names.

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Dr Gohar Rahman

“I accept you deeply regret your actions but they continued for some considerable time leaving her with numerous injuries,” she said.

But she agreed to suspend the ten month term for two years. She said: “The ramifications for you have been profound. It is likely you have learnt a great deal from this incident and are extremely unlikely ever to act in this way again.”

The court heard that the incident happened on November 1 last year and began in his car when he grabbed her by the hair and banged her head two or three times into the back of the front passenger seat.

After he stopped driving he dragged her out of the car by the hair and began shouting and hitting her on the arms and back. The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, fell to the floor and when she got up he slapped her in the face.

Dr Gohar Rahman

“She lay on the floor too scared to move and he kicked and hit her,” said Sarah Holt, prosecuting.

“When she did get up he hit her again and she estimated the assault went on for ten to 15 minutes.

“Her mobile phone fell out of her pocket and he demanded her password for it but she refused to tell him. She described him as angry, looking like a monster and knew she was going to be hit again.”

The court heard that he stood over her with his face in her face and repeatedly hit her and warned her things would get worse if she did not give him the password but she still refused and he picked up a wooden walking stick and began hitting her with it.

He looked around for other items to hit her with but failing to find anything resumed the attack with the walking stick on her arms and back. He threatened to hit her across the face and knock her teeth out Miss Holt said.

Rahman did not do so but again hit her on the arms, back and bottom. “She described the incident as ‘being awful and hurt a lot’.”

The court heard that the matter came to light when the mother of one of her friends saw she had written about it on social media and called the police. When the victim was medically examined she was found to have red marks to her cheeks and behind her left ear and bruising to her forehead, arms, back and bottom.

In an impact statement the victim told how her studies had been disrupted as has her sleep pattern and she is trying to access counselling.

Rahman, a father-of-three, of Upper Dickinson Street, Swinley, Wigan, pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.

Abbas Lakha QC, defending, who produced a sheath of testimonials to the judge, told the court: “He is utterly consumed by remorse, regret, guilt and shame.

“He had brought shame on himself and his family and felt guilty that he had allowed matters to get the better of him. He is utterly ashamed that he allowed himself to behave in this way. He recognises his behaviour was completely unacceptable.”

Mr Lakha said that Rahman, who has no previous convictions, regretted putting his professional standing at risk. He had worked hard, having qualified in Pakistan in 1986 and came to his country with his wife, also a doctor, in 1996.

He has not been suspended since the incident but has had restrictions placed on his clinical practice and has continued to work in research. He is currently on sick leave and is on medication. He has also been seen by a psychologist and psychiatrist.

Mr Lakha urged the judge to suspend any prison sentence pointing out, “This man provides a very valuable service to the public in an area where there is enormous demand.”

He added that the absence of Rahman, who is involved in charitable work, would place greater pressure on his colleagues.

The judge ordered Rahman to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and to take part in a 30 day rehabilitation activity course and pay £300 prosecution costs and £100 court surcharge.