Sex offender still has ‘Dr’ title

A judge continued to refer to Rakesh Kumar Chawdhry as “Dr Chawdhry” at his latest sentencing because even after 13 indecency convictions he has still not been struck off.

Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish said no disciplinary action had yet been taken against the 63-year-old. He had not been been formally struck off as a registered medical practitioner.

“You are still entitled to be called by that qualification,” she said as she sentenced him on two further indecent assault charges which he admitted in August.

Judge Farish added two months to the sentence Chawdhry received at his sentencing in February after he was convicted of indecent assaults and one sexual violation relating to 10 male complainants. He was convicted of 11 charges and jailed for more than four years.

The publicity about the trial and the sentencing prompted two further men to come forward and make complaints. These involved men aged 26 and 28 who were seen by Chawdhry at the Amberley Medical Centre in 2011 and the Riccarton Clinic in 2013.

The offending involved Chawdhry touching them in what the judge ruled was a “sexualised” way during sexually-transmitted infection checks.

Victim impact statements from the two men described feelings of embarassment and shame. One said he had not talked about the indecent assault with anyone for years because he was ashamed that he had not done anything about it at the time or afterwards.

The judge noted that at the time of the sentencing in February she had received 50 references supporting Chawdhry from patients an colleagues in New Zealand, America, and India.

She said his remorse was “difficult to ascertain” but she had read his letter about the steps he had taken while in custody, including psychological assistance and counselling. But she added: “I see you still have quite a lot of work to do.”

The Parole Board would want to see a big shift in his attitude to his culpability before they considered his release.

Judge Farish said her calculation at the February sentencing had been slightly wrong, and adjusted it to four years two months, and then added on a further two months for the latest two indecent assaults.