Former Dapto doctor jailed for sex crimes

Former Dapto doctor Mohammed Mofizur Rahman was sentenced in Wollongong yesterday to nine years' jail, with a six-year non-parole period, for inappropriately touching 17 of his female patients.
Former Dapto doctor Mohammed Mofizur Rahman was sentenced in Wollongong yesterday to nine years' jail, with a six-year non-parole period, for inappropriately touching 17 of his female patients.

A former Dapto doctor labelled a "deplorable" sexual predator will spend the next six years behind bars.Victims sobbed as disgraced GP Mohammed Mofizur Rahman was led from the dock after sentencing in Wollongong District Court yesterday.Judge Richard Cogswell consigned the 43-year-old to a nine-year prison term, with a minimum non-parole period of six years, for inappropriately touching the breasts of 17 patients while he was working as an independent contractor at the Dapto Medical Centre.Rahman sat for two hours while victims heard how the now-suspended doctor abused their trust during consultations between September 2009 and March 2010.Many victims had entered the surgery with problems unrelated to their breasts and were given breast checks without warning, the court heard.As a result, several victims left thinking they may have cancer.One victim was a 14-year-old girl dressed in school uniform, another a mother in the presence of two foster children.Rahman pleaded guilty in April to 22 counts of indecent assault and one charge of aggravated indecent assault.Judge Cogswell told the court the predatory sexual behaviour was deplorable."Those examinations were clearly perpetrated for sexual gratification," he said."I hesitate to use the term 'examination' because it suggests Dr Rahman acted professionally, when in fact he was behaving in a criminal way."During sentencing submissions last week, defence barrister Jane Healey claimed Rahman committed the offences because he was suffering from a boundary-breaching behaviour, stemming from a friend's breast cancer scare.The same psychiatrist's report suggested Rahman had a breast fetish."Doctors, like all of us, have sexual desires and attractions," Judge Cogswell said."However, the vital point is that they not allow that to intrude into the relationship with patients."Judge Cogswell told the court many victims were now reluctant to see a doctor, had difficulty trusting people and had intimacy problems with their partners."All the victims are to be commended for their courage in reporting the violations which were perpetrated on them to police and allowing their evidence to be provided as a basis for charges against Dr Rahman," he said.One young woman became so upset during yesterday's proceedings she rushed from the courtroom in tears.In considering his sentence, Judge Cogswell said Rahman had showed "qualified remorse" and good prospects of rehabilitation but was "guarded" about the prospects of him reoffending, even though it is almost certain he will be struck from the medical register.Taking mitigating factors into account, Judge Cogswell delivered a sentence totalling nine years, with a non-parole period of six.Rahman will be eligible for release on July 21, 2016.