Published by BBC NEWS - 14th April 2022

Dr Krishna Singh

Image source, Spindrift

A doctor from North Lanarkshire has been found guilty of 54 sex offence charges against women over 35 years.

Krishna Singh, 72, kissed, groped, gave inappropriate examinations and made sleazy comments to 48 patients during appointments in various medical settings.

The patients included a rape victim, teenage children and pregnant women.

Prosecutors described how the sexual predator was “hiding in plain sight” over nearly four decades.

The GP, who was awarded an MBE in 2013, had denied the charges.

Singh was found guilty of multiple sexual and indecent assaults that he carried out between February 1983 and May 2018.

He was found not proven on nine others charges and not guilty on a further two.

The offences mainly occurred at medical practices in North Lanarkshire, but also at a hospital accident and emergency department, a police station and during visits to patients’ homes.

The judge, Lord Armstrong, deferred sentencing until next month and allowed Singh to be released on bail on condition that he surrendered his passport.

Singh went on to leave the courtroom alongside members of his family.

Singh became a GP in the area in the early 1980s and went on to serve as a police casualty surgeon, which included examining victims of sexual violence.

An investigation was launched into his behaviour when one woman reported him to authorities in 2018.

A letter was then sent to all patients at the practice to see if they could help in the police inquiry.

Coatbridge Health Centre

Among the witnesses who gave evidence was a 50-year-old hospital worker who had reported being raped.

She was examined by Singh at a police station in Motherwell in March 2008.

The woman said the GP asked her whether she had been wearing a skirt and whether sex was consensual. She said he went on to molest her.

She told the court: “He asked how low my top was and if my cleavage was showing. He was asking if I was being provocative. He said ‘so, you are not a good time girl’.”

Another woman who saw Singh while she was a teenager said he would “press and prod” around her pant line during check ups on a sore throat.

She said his behaviour became a “running joke” between her friends.

The woman said: “If that was my daughter, I would be sitting in the dock on a murder charge. No professional should act like that.”

Krishna Singh

A man told the court he threatened to assault Singh after catching him groping his pregnant wife at an appointment in the mid-1990s.

Many women became so uncomfortable going to see the GP that they brought a friend or relative to appointments.

One woman tried to make her medication last longer to delay having to go back and see him.

The court heard how victims were often hesitant about reporting Singh through the years.

Women felt they would not be heard as Singh was latterly senior partner at the surgery and his wife was practice manager.

‘Hiding in plain sight’

Prosecutor Angela Gray told the jury during the trial that Singh had been in a routine of abusing his position to offend against women.

She said: “Sexual offending was part of his working life. Access to women as and when the situation arose and taking the chances when he could.

“A quick feel, a look in an intimate area, an indecent comment. This was his way of working, Hiding in plain sight.”

Dr Linda Findlay, medical director for South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said Singh’s actions had been a “despicable breach of trust and a total abuse of the patient-doctor relationship.She added: “We know that this has been an extremely difficult time for the patients and relatives affected and we thank them for their courage in coming forward to report their concerns to the police.”

Lifelong damage

Laura Connor, a partner at Thompsons Solicitors who represented some of Singh’s victims, told the BBC the damage he caused would be lifelong.

She said: “The extent of damage that he’s done and continues to do by his defence to the criminal trial is quite unbelievable.

“It has impacted them personally, it has impacted their families. It has done in the past, continues to and will continue to in the future.

“Like many survivors of abuse it impacts all parts of their lives, it’s not an injury which can obviously be seen but it’s there and it’s present all the time.”

The firm said it would begin civil proceedings against relevant authorities in order to secure compensation for victims.

Helen Provan, centre director for Lanarkshire Rape Crisis Centre, welcomed the verdict but said she believed there could be more women who had been attacked by Singh but had not yet come forward.

She said: “Anyone who has been in a situation where they’re not expecting their bodily autonomy to be breached, it makes them feel very violated and leaves them feeling who can they trust after that.

“There can well be an unknown number of women who he has also violated and behaved inappropriately at best to who may well wishing to come forward”.

Det Insp Stephen Morris added: “I hope this conviction provides a sense of closure for the victims and sends a clear message that all reports of sexual abuse, regardless of the passage of time, will be thoroughly investigated by Police Scotland and victims will be supported throughout.”

  • Details of organisations offering information and support with sexual abuse are available at bbc.co.uk/actionline, or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information on 0800 077 077.
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