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International

UK ophthalmologist suspended for failing to declare sexual assault conviction

05/03/2019
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A UK ophthalmologist has been suspended for nine months after failing to notify industry regulators about a sexual assault conviction three years ago.

Mr Dilesh Gohil, 46, who runs DG Opticians, in Lancashire, was sentenced to a nine-month community order and 120 hours’ of community service in 2016 after sliding his hand down a patient’s back before trying to massage her.

Despite being found guilty, he failed to declare the sexual assault conviction to the UK’s General Optical Council (GOC). He recently appeared before a GOC panel and admitted this amounted to dishonesty.

Mr John Graham, defending Gohil, asked his client what impact his actions had had on the profession.

Gohil replied: “It has had a huge impact on the profession. I feel that I have really let the profession down by my conduct.

Dilesh Gohil
Dilesh Gohil

“I am just working as an ophthalmological assistant, doing some glazing.”

According to the Daily Mail, Gohil told the hearing that he did not reveal the conviction to protect the public, the locums and himself. GOC panellist Catherine Donnelly asked Gohil if he could explain his actions in 2016, given he had three years to reflect on the offending.

The ophthalmologist replied: “I don’t know it was probably like what the judge said, a moment of madness. I can’t describe it. I am very, very sorry for my behaviour on that day.

“I have apologised a number of times to the complainant, but after the police got involved I was asked to stay away from her.”

Gohil was suspended for a further nine months. The panel was told he had previously been suspended under an interim order for the past two years.

At the end of the suspension, there will be a review hearing to confirm whether he can return to the register.

Carl Zeiss
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