Doctor cleared of groping teenage girls

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A DOCTOR has been cleared of groping two teenage girls.

Anaesthetist Niaz Ahmed today told how he feels he has been the victim of a prosecution witchunt.

The 53-year-old was accused of making lewd comments and gestures to the 15 and 16-year-old girls before sexually assaulting them at a firework display last November.

Mr Ahmed, of Broadlands, Cleadon, denied sexual assault and engaging in sexual activity with a child and was cleared after just over an hour’s deliberation by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court.

Speaking after the verdicts, Mr Ahmed said the prosecution against him set out to destroy his character and claimed he was a “victim of circumstances”.

Mr Ahmed, who worked at South Tyneside District Hospital for 10 years, had stopped working due to health problems, but was suspended by the General Medical Council (GMC) once the allegations against him were made.

The married medic is now hoping to get back to work and hopes to get his life back.

He said after the hearing: “I told them from the beginning I felt grossly, unfairly done to. I was the victim of circumstances.

“I am unwell at the moment and going through a lot of personal issues. I have separated from my wife, I have had a heart attack and suffer from sleep apnoea.

“Already I was not able to work but the GMC have suspended me now.

“I wrote to them clearly saying it was a group of drunken girls. The suspension can be lifted and I am hoping it will be.

“I have had so much personal suffering because of this. I do not have a job and I am unable to get a job without GMC registration.

“I actually feel like suing because I was prosecuted over this. I genuinely have reasons to complain.

“They have tried to make out this was premeditated, totally destroying my character, saying things I have never done.

“I am 53. If I was a paedophile it would have been obvious by now.

“I was thinking of them as nice girls.

“This has made me feel extreme stress. It will be extremely difficult to get my life back.

“It was already shattered because of other issues I had.”

Ahmed had admitted during the trial he had touched the girls’ bottoms in an attempt to be “one of the crowd”.

He told jurors he now realises it was a “foolish” thing to have done but it was intended as a “playful gesture” without sexual motive.

When asked by his barrister Tom Moran how he felt about the decision to touch the girls’ bottoms, Ahmed said: “In retrospect, with the benefit of hindsight and 20/20 vision associated with it, I think it was a foolish thing to have done.

“It is a result of an inadequate attempt to be one of the crowd. I fit in very poorly and unsuccessfully.”

Twitter: @sunderladnecho