10:16 Thursday 14 March 2013  Written by COURT REPORTER

Hitchin psychiatrist 'preyed on vulnerable victim'

St Albans Crown Court St Albans Crown Court

A HITCHIN psychiatrist has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman patient during a consultation when he touched her between her legs.

Doctor Harmadan Singh, said he twice asked to see the woman’s pubic hair because he thought she might be suffering from a hormone imbalance. But the 30-year-old woman told the jury having got out of his office, she felt disgusted and sick.

Singh was found guilty by a majority verdict of a charge of sexually assaulting the woman in March 2011 in his office at the mental health unit at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn Garden City.

St Albans Crown Court heard Dr Singh has been suspended, is unlikely to ever practice again and is living on his pension.

Judge John Plumstead said he had developed a “profound attraction” for the woman and went on: “You used your position to touch her intimately which she would never have allowed.”

He sentenced Singh, who lives with his wife in Stevenage Road, Hitchin, to 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years. He must pay his victim £1,500 and costs of £3,500 and his name will go on the sex offenders register for five years.

The victim had been referred to the unit suffering from anxiety, depression and panic attacks. She had suffered a miscarriage and was separated from her husband.

She said she felt “awkward” talking about sex with the psychiatrist, but added: “I was desperate for help, so I carried on.”

But she said after pulling her trousers down to her thighs, he fondled her between her legs and she noticed he had an erection inside his trousers.

After receiving repeated phone calls from Singh, she contacted the police. After the verdict Detective Constable Liz Heath from the sexual offences investigation team said: “Dr Singh was a man in a position of trust who preyed on a vulnerable victim under his care.”

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