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Top surgeon who groped two women spared jail because he is 'too good at his job'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 9/06/2017

© Provided by Independent Print Limited One of Britain’s top surgeons convicted of groping two women has been spared jail because he is too good at his job to be sent to prison.

Mohamed Amrani, 54, is credited with saving hundreds of lives around the world and hit the headlines in 2007 when he performed the UK’s first double heart valve replacement using keyhole surgery.

However, his illustrious career came to a shuddering halt in 2015 when he was accused of sex attacks on a string of women.

Amrani, who was based at Harefield Hospital, was in April convicted of attacks on two women, at the end of an Old Bailey trial.

harefield..png © Provided by Independent Print Limited harefield..png Judge Anne Molyneux on Thursday sentenced Amrani to six months in prison suspended for a year after hearing that an immediate prison sentence would inevitably end his career. 

“The public interest may well be in favour of you operating again”, she told him. 

“You are an outstandingly good heart surgeon, the court heard from an extraordinarily high number of people, men and women, from many different backgrounds including complainants themselves who gave evidence of your skill as a surgeon, colleague, teacher, a friend, parent and husband. 

“You have saved lives, enhanced lives, doing work others were not willing to do. You have shown commitment to the NHS, and gave your time to work for charitable organisations pro bono on trips to Egypt and other countries.”

During his trial, the court heard women did not dare to complain about Amrani’s behaviour because of his international reputation as a pioneering surgeon.

He attacked the first victim twice in 2003 and 2004, grabbing her breasts, which the judge said were “fleeting, unplanned, spontaneous outbursts”.

He spanked the second victim on the bottom while at the Cromwell private hospital in Kensington in June 2014.

The court heard both women have suffered psychologically since the attacks.

Stephen Vullo QC, defending, pleaded with the judge to suspend the prison sentence as it means Amrani will not be automatically struck off when he faces a General Medical Council disciplinary hearing.

He said Amrani falls into the category of having “extraordinary if not unique skills” which permit a suspended sentence being passed.

“People died during the period of Mr Amrani’s suspension, people with complex heart conditions who other surgeons will not or could not operate on”, he said.

“The effect on the local and general community, certainly those with heart conditions, would be very well served to have Mr Amrani back and operating if that’s at all a possibility.”

Amrani, who lives in Harrow with his wife Clare, was convicted of two counts of indecent assault and one charge of sexual assault. He was cleared by a jury of sexual assault by penetration, four counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault. Jurors could not decide on a charge of rape which was then dropped.

The judge ordered him to complete 25 days of rehab as part of his punishment and pay £8,000 towards the cost of the prosecution.

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