GP Manish Shah guilty of 25 sex offences against six patients

Manish Shah was found guilty of 25 offences

A GP who used celebrity cancer stories to get patients to have unnecessary checks has been found guilty of 25 sex offences against six patients.

Manish Shah, 50, from Romford in east London, preyed on cancer concerns to persuade victims as young as 17 to go through unnecessary intimate examinations for his own sexual gratification, the court heard.

He was accused of assaulting six patients at the Mawney Medical Centre from May 2009 to June 2013.

The 50-year-old denied wrongdoing and said he was practising "defensive medicine".

He was found guilty of 25 sexual offences on six patients after a trial at the Old Bailey.

The jury was told he had already been convicted of similar allegations relating to 17 other women, bringing the total to 23.

They deliberated for 26 hours before giving their verdict.

Prosecutor Kate Bex said Shah had taken advantage of the patients' fear of cancer to consent to examinations without being properly informed.

Some of the patients were particularly vulnerable because they were young or had a family history of the disease.

Ms Bex said: "Fear is an incredible motivator and few health concerns are scarier than cancer. Dr Shah exploited that and used it for his own personal gratification."

In one instance, Shah brought up the case of Angelina Jolie, who had a protective double mastectomy, in order to examine a woman's breasts.

He also mentioned former reality star Jade Goody to another, and said an examination was in her best interests.

Ms Bex told jurors that Shah's behaviour was "sexualised" and he had given patients hugs and kisses, singling some out as "special" and his "star", or saying he had a soft spot for them.

He would not always wear gloves and left one patient entirely naked on an examination table.

Shah attempted to justify an examination in medical notes by saying it was "requested".

He flouted NHS guidelines, giving healthy women under the age of 25 smear tests and performing routine breast examinations on women under 50, which Ms Bex told jurors caused more harm than good.

Shah also breached guidelines on the use of chaperones during intimate examinations.

He denied wrongdoing and his barrister, Zoe Johnson, said he was a "cautious, insecure, perhaps at times incompetent GP".

She said his previous conviction did not mean "once a sex offender always a sex offender".

The investigation started after several people went to police in July and August 2013, and he was finally arrested.

Shah's sentencing will take place on 7 February.