A disgraced doctor is facing jail for committing sex crimes against 48 female patients after “hiding in plain sight” for almost four decades.
Kirshna Singh, 72, abused his position as a respected family GP in North Lanarkshire to subject dozens of female victims to unwanted kissing, groping, inappropriate examinations and lewd comments.
On Thursday, a jury convicted Singh – who had been made an MBE for medical services and treated generations of families since the 1980s – of 54 charges against the victims. They included a woman who had been raped, teenage children and pregnant women.
They rejected his claims that the patients were wrong and that he had been taught some of the examinations, such as touching breasts “simultaneously”, during medical training in India.
Doctor ‘was like Benny Hill’
The offences, spanning February 1983 and May 2018, mainly occurred at medical practices in North Lanarkshire. However, offenses also took place at a hospital accident and emergency department and a police station, as well as during visits to patients’ homes. Singh was also employed as a police casualty surgeon, which included examining victims of sexual violence.
Nine other offenses were not proven, while Singh was found not guilty of another two charges.
His offending went undetected for decades, despite some witnesses saying his inappropriate actions became a “running joke” between local women. Many became so uncomfortable going to see him that they insisted a friend or relative joined them at appointments.
Woman after woman came into the witness box during the two-month trial at the High Court in Glasgow to recount how they had suffered at his hands.
One ex-patient told how Singh would “press and prod” around her pant line, even if it was a check up on a sore throat.
One told the trial the GP, of Airdrie, Lanarkshire, “was like Benny Hill”, having groped her breasts and said “big boobies”.
‘Routine of offending against women’
It was only when a woman, inspired by the #MeToo movement, reported Singh to NHS Lanarkshire in 2018 that an investigation was launched and the scale of his offending became clear. He will be sentenced next month.
In her speech to jurors, Angela Gray, the prosecutor, said: “The Crown case is that Dr Singh was in a routine of offending against women.
“Sometimes subtle or camouflaged, other times obvious and flagrant. Sexual offending was part of his working life.
“A quick feel, a look in an intimate area, an indecent comment. This was his way of working, hiding in plain sight.”
A man admitted to jurors he threatened to assault Singh after catching him groping his then pregnant wife at an appointment in the mid-1990s.
The witness recalled: “Dr Singh came towards us and put his hands – palms facing up – and then squeezed her breasts two or three times. He then said: ‘Your breasts are getting big.’
“I said: ‘Get your hands off her… or I will punch you through the window’. He then scurried away.”
Other victims told how they thought of Singh as a “creep” and a “wee pervert”.
‘Despicable breach of trust’
Singh showed no emotion as the verdicts were read out on Thursday. The crimes mainly consisted of multiple sexual and indecent assault.
Janice Green, defending, asked for Singh to remain on bail pending investigations into his “physical and mental health”. His bail was continued until sentencing.
Dr Linda Findlay, medical director for South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said GPs across the region had been “shocked” by the case and “categorically condemned” Singh’s actions.
She added: “Krishna Singh’s actions were a despicable breach of trust and a total abuse of the patient-doctor relationship.
“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.”