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HMA v Krishna Singh
May 25, 2022
On sentencing, Lord Armstrong made the following statement in court:
"Krishna Singh, you have been convicted, after trial, of 54 charges, which involved the calculating and manipulative sexual abuse of 47 women and girls in relation to whom, as their general practitioner, you were in a clear position of trust. These charges comprise 25 charges of indecent assault; 24 charges of sexual assault, contrary to the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, section 3; one charge of attempted sexual assault; and 4 charges of lewd, indecent and libidinous practices and behaviour directed towards girls under the age of 16 years, one in contravention of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 1976, section 5, one in contravention of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995, section 6, and two in contravention of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009, section 30.
You perpetrated these crimes, against your female patients, persistently, over a period of some 35 years. I consider it a grave aggravation of these crimes that, when committing them, you were acting in breach of the significant trust owed by a doctor to his patients. You used that position, manipulatively, to carry out unnecessary physical examinations of a sexual nature, including intimate examinations without a chaperone, or any prior explanation, in circumstances where there was no clinical justification for the actions you took. To that extent, by your criminal actions, you undermined the standing of the medical profession, by eroding the trust which the female patients concerned would otherwise have had in relation to medical practitioners who treat them.
I have read victim impact statements by 15 of the women concerned. The terms of these statements clearly indicate the ongoing, devastating and debilitating consequences of your criminal actions on them. They describe emotional and psychological scarring, and a consequential mistrust of the medical profession, extending to a reluctance to seek medical treatment when required. Several have described periods of depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and subsequent difficulty in embracing apparent trust. The terms of these statements describe these consequences as continuing in the everyday lives of the women concerned, years after the incidents in which they suffered sexual abuse at your hands.
You are 72 years of age, and have no criminal history. I have noted the content of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report now made available to me. I note your whole personal circumstances and family background. I have taken account of what has been said on your behalf, this morning, by Ms Greene. I note the impact of these matters on your own family.
I note that, while you have expressed regret, you do not accept responsibility for the criminal offending of which you now stand convicted.
I note that a risk assessment model included in that report assesses you as presenting with a profile which suggests a low risk of re-offending,
I also acknowledge that a number of these crimes, having occurred up to some 35 years ago, are now historical, that you are, for the purposes of the sentence which I must impose, a first offender, and that your life otherwise has been well-ordered, in that that you have had a good work record, and that you have been decorated for service to the community.
However, these crimes of which you have been convicted are disturbing and grave. Society has an abhorrence of such conduct and it is the responsibility of the court to reflect that. It is important that those who might be disposed to commit crimes of sexual abuse against women and children, in the way that you did, understand that they are likely to receive significant custodial penalties once brought to justice. I am satisfied that, in your case, there is no appropriate alternative disposal to one of imprisonment.
I have already made an order that you be subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. In light of the sentence I am about to impose, that requirement will be continued for an indefinite period of time. I am also making an order that you be the subject of a referral to the Scottish Ministers in connection with the legislation relating to the protection of vulnerable groups in Scotland.
Given that these charges all concern separate and distinct incidents, it might be thought that there would be some justification for imposing sentences on each of them on a consecutive basis. I am satisfied, however, that to do so would result in a disproportionately excessive disposal. Although the crimes of which you have been convicted involved 47 different female patients, they comprise, essentially, a single course of conduct perpetrated by you, and I will sentence you on that basis by imposing a single cumulo period of imprisonment which appropriately reflects the totality of the criminality involved.
On that basis, taking all of these factors into account, including your age, your status as a first offender, the fact that you are now, effectively, retired from practice, the historical nature of a significant number of the crimes of which you now stand convicted, and your acknowledged service to the community in other respects, but also having due regard to the grave nature, and consequences, of the criminality involved, the sentence I now impose on you, in respect of all 54 charges, is one of a period of imprisonment, in cumulo, of 12 years.
That sentence will take effect from today’s date."