A doctor who molested a student nurse by grabbing her breast claims he did so due to a ‘misjudgment’ in ‘cultural norms’.
Married father-of-two Imran Qureshi, 44, grabbed the breast of the 21-year-old colleague and told her he wanted an affair, a medical tribunal has heard.
Qureshi later claimed he made a ‘misjudgement’ and blamed his behaviour on ‘cultural norms being different’ in the UK and his native Pakistan.
The nurse, known only as Miss A, was ‘shaken up and distraught’ after reporting how locum senior house officer Qureshi grabbed her chest before trying to ‘make light’ of it and then becoming aggressive.
The encounter took place at Trafford General Hospital in Davyhulme, Greater Manchester, on June 3 2015 when the 21-year-old Muslim student said Qureshi seemed ‘excited to see her and well within her personal space’.
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester was told at around 3pm, she asked the doctor to retrieve some patient notes to which he replied: ‘I don’t want to get it yet, I want to spend some time with you’.
Counsel for the General Medical Council, Rebecca Vanstone, added: ‘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.
‘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.
‘Miss A says she held her hand up to signal for him to move away and told him he was a disgrace. He asked for a hug and she refused but he did it anyway.
‘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.’
She told a friend about the assault and then informed her mentor, who described the student nurse as ‘nervous, shaken up and distraught’.
Ms Vanstone said: ‘The registrant went to the police station voluntarily. He was charged and self referred to the GMC.
He pleaded not guilty in respect of the criminal proceedings but was convicted last year by a jury after trial.’
In June last year Qureshi was sentenced at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court to a 12-month community order with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement after he was convicted by a jury of sexual assault.
He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for five years and pay court costs of £750. He was later refused leave to appeal his conviction by the Court of Appeal and is currently suspended from practising.
Miss A provided the tribunal with a victim personal statement where she told of the effect the incident had on her. She had to be prescribed sleeping tablets and had to take weeks off work which could delay her qualification.
Miss Vanstone said: ‘His conduct in my submission was a breach of professional boundaries given that the complainant was a student nurse and was 21 years old.
Dr Qureshi’s conviction for sexual assault amounts to serious misconduct. ‘He did say that he saw Miss A being sexually available because she had previous boyfriends.
He described the incident being a misjudgement by him and says the culture norms are different in the UK from Pakistan where he’s from. ‘That fails to explain why he behaved in the way that he did.
It seeks to diminish his actions and pass it off as an error of judgement.
‘Despite the apologies the registrant has offered in his witness statement he still fails to accept his conduct was a sexual assault.’ Qureshi attempted to appeal on two occasions where permission was refused.
He admits the allegations put to him on behalf of the GMC but is battling to avoid being struck off. The hearing continues.