14/08/2018 17:16 BST | Updated 14/08/2018 18:07 BST

GP Who Secretly Filmed Patients Jailed For 14 Months

Dr Thair Altaii had 19,000 images and videos of female patients.

A GP found guilty of secretly filming patients on mobile phones has been sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Dr Thair Altaii, 55, from South Tyneside, was found to have 19,000 images and videos after a patient complained to police.

He claimed to have filmed the clips for training purposes, but was convicted on three charges of voyeurism after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court last month. The charges relate to two female patients. 

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Lee Boys, of Northumbria Police, said: “Thair Altaii clearly abused his position of trust and caused inevitable distress to his victims, who were totally unaware of what he was doing.

“He must now deal with the consequences of his actions, having destroyed his own professional career and reputation.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank his victims for the courage, determination and dignity they have shown throughout this investigation, and for their assistance at every step of the process.

“It is their bravery and willingness to inform police of Altaii’s suspicious behaviour that has resulted in his conviction, ensuring no more of his patients can become unwilling and unknowing victims.”

The jurors took just one hour to find Altaii guilty after hearing the files showed women “in various states of undress [...] in the surgery environment”.

“They also found video clips of patients being examined,” prosecutor Louise Reevell told the court.

The investigation began when one of the patients contacted the police after noticing two mobile phones propped up during her appointment in 2014. 

When Altaii’s sentencing was postponed, Judge Edward Bindloss told the court: “The fact I’m adjourning your case and ordering a report and granting you bail is no indication of the likely sentence.

“All options remain open, including a custodial sentence.”