Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 12/12/2013 3:25 PM | Comments: 0
A former Lac du Bonnet doctor convicted of sexually assaulting a female patient during a routine exam has lost his appeal.
Mohamed Sadhakkathulla Kadirsahib claimed he did nothing wrong when he touched the woman's breasts and put his hands down her pants while diagnosing the cause of her severe cough.
But a judge disagreed at trial last year, finding him guilty and sentencing him to six months in jail. Kadirsahib, 41, appeared in court last May seeking to overturn the conviction and receive a new trial.
In a decision released today, Queen’s Bench Justice Rick Saull said there were no grounds to interfere.
Kadirsahib has been free on bail since his case ended but will now have to be taken into custody to begin serving his sentence.
The incident occurred at the Lac Du Bonnet Health Centre. The woman lodged a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba and contacted RCMP.
Kadirsahib's new lawyer, Richard Wolson, argued on appeal that his client might have fared better at trial if his lawyer at the time had cross-examined the Crown's witnesses more aggressively and had taken more adequate steps to prepare Kadirsahib for his own testimony.
"The failure to do these things affects trial fairness," Wolson told Saull. "Having a prepared witness is absolutely critical for an advocate."
Crown attorney Breta Passler said there was nothing wrong in the way Kadirsahib's trial was conducted and nothing wrong in his conviction.
"Touching done without consent is an assault," she said.
Wolson said Kadirsahib came to Canada from India in 2004 to provide a better life for his wife and son.
He had graduated from medical school in India in 1996, but had to upgrade his education before being able to practise under supervision in Manitoba. In the interim, he worked at a convenience store and a gas station and drove a cab to provide for his family.
Wolson said the victim in the case saw Kadirsahib five times complaining of an escalating respiratory illness. He said the woman also complained of pain in her right breast and pain in right chest, back and abdomen.
The woman testified during an exam the doctor touched her nipples and there was "a lot of kneading contact with my breasts that went beyond typical breast examinations."
Kadirsahib argues he examined the woman for no other reason than for medical purposes and to check for cancerous tumours.
"If cancer was found we wouldn't be here," Wolson said.
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