Yorkshire GP, 70, jailed after 25 year reign of abuse

JUDGE lambasted a general practitioner whom he jailed for 11 years for indecently assaulting seven women patients over a 25-year period.

Judge Simon Lawler said of Dr Gousul Islam: “In 40 years experience as a court practitioner this is the worst case of its kind by a professional man I have had the misfortune to encounter or try.” He told him: “This is on any view a catalogue in some cases of persistent sexual abuse of patients with the grossest possible breach of trust of your position as a doctor.”

Female jurors wept openly as the judge delivered his verdict on 70-year-old Islam who hung his head in shame in the dock at Sheffield Crown Court. Judge Lawler praised the women for speaking out and said that three of them had been left with psychological problems following the abuse which was a “terrible commentary on a medical man who took an oath to counsel and to care.” He said: “he court pays tribute to these women. They did not want to be here but felt it was their duty to speak out. They were right and they have seen justice. They have no sense of empowerment. They left here with a sense of having told their stories but remained ashamed. The fault is not theirs.”

Within the privacy of his consulting room at a Doncaster area village surgery, Islam serially groped teenage girls and young women. Under the pretext of examinations, he fondled their breasts, stroked their thighs and touched them intimately. The married doctor asked the women to undress in his presence without a screen and lie on his treatment couch without a blanket or towel to protect their modesty. He never offered the females a chaperone and often did not wear gloves for intimate examinations after which he would wash his hands obsessively.

He was found guilty of indecently assaulting seven women patients from January, 1970 to June, 1995 while he was in his 30s and 40s. The allegations came to light in March, 2010 when one woman whom he tricked into performing oral sex complained to the police and inquiries led to other victims either being traced or coming forward.

Islam was suspended by the General Medical Council in September, 2010 and will now be struck off.

The court heard he asked a teenager to “strip off and go upstairs with him” at his surgery and told her: “You are fit, you are stunning, you are beautiful.” He repeatedly asked her to go on weekends away or watch videos with him at his house and told her he was not interested in his wife. When she was seven months pregnant he jabbed her in the stomach and said: “What are you doing with that thing inside you get rid. I can’t do anything with you with that inside you.” She said she was subjected to more than 30 unwarranted examinations from the age of 14 to 22.

She said: “He always wanted to give you an internal or feel your boobs.”

One woman blamed Islam for ruining her sex life and wrecking her marriage throughout which she remained a virgin. She went to the doctor in her 20s over her problems with sexual intercourse and the GP told her: “Silly girl, your partner must be tearing his hair out.” The woman said he made her feel like a “freak” and he even examined her “down below” when she complained over a sore throat. He had stroked her legs and thighs, put his hand inside her knickers and touched her vagina during examinations.

She said: “You knew he was going to have a quick feel. You just knew what was coming.”

Several of the victims were in the public gallery to see the GP sentenced. Det Chief Insp Natalie Shaw speaking on their behalf said afterwards: “They are glad it is over and justice has been done and they can now try to get this behind them.

“South Yorkshire Police cannot commend enough the bravery and courage shown by all of these ladies who have come forward. They have conducted themselves with dignity throughout.” We understand that it is not unusual for those who were subject to abuse to come forward later in life.

If you or somebody you know were subject to abuse please do not hesitate to contact Charles Derham our specialist child abuse solicitor. We will treat any communications with the strictest of confidence.

Lisa has specialised in childhood abuse and social care negligence for the last 8 years and has extensive experience in relation to civil abuse litigation, CICA claim maximisation and Redress Scheme claims. She offers a sympathetic and professional approach to her clients’ problems and advises on funding options (including insurance and Conditional Fee Agreements.)

Since 2018 she has travelled around the country to see clients who were failed by Lambeth Council during their childhood in order to collate evidence for submission to the Lambeth Children’s Home Compensation Scheme. Lisa’s style of working is tailored to providing emotional support whilst applying the specialist legal expertise required to ensure her client’s have the best evidence for making a successful claim.

Lisa is able to access key psychiatric and social care experts to obtain evidence and therapy recommendations for clients. She can direct clients to treatment providers if required. Often such treatment costs can be claimed as part of the compensation process. This is a priority to ensure her clients have the best opportunity to make positive steps into the future. Lisa excels in applying questions to psychiatric experts to clarify and ensure they have a deeper understanding of the case issues where required. She is also experienced in negotiation to maximise outcome according to specific scheme terms.

For the last year and half, Lisa has been leading the firm’s participation in the National Abuse Inquiry specifically relating to the IICSA Lambeth investigation acting on behalf of 6 core participants. Such work involved the preparation of core participant applications, section 40 funding applications, detailed consideration of social care record evidence, witness statements preparation, attending preliminary hearings for consideration on the extent of other key party involvement, detailed work on documentary disclosure evidence from the council, police and other core participants to identify deep seated failings within the past care and policing systems, cross referencing, and work with counsel on composing Rule 10 questioning of corporate and police witnesses giving evidence at the IICSA Lambeth hearing. Lisa also accompanied a key core participant giving evidence to the IICSA hearing providing support and understanding to ensure her client’s evidence was sensitively taken into account when the panel make recommendations to protect children in the future. Questions were raised on the effectiveness of the current Serious Case Review system and how this has been operating within police and council’s across the country, something which has also been identified whilst working on specific civil cases. The hope is that improvements in the child protection mechanisms can ensure the safety of children in future.

Lisa also specialises in CICA claims, an area of work which has increased significantly following the lifting of the pre 1979 same home abuse rule which facilitated many victims being able to finally achieve justice relating to serious childhood abuse.

Lisa also has extensive particular experience in running civil claims relating to foster carer abuse, abuse in private/public/approved school institutions, church abuse, and abuse linked to gymnastics.

Her extensive knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules, skills in evidence gathering and analysis of liability and causation, and experience in risk assessment and settlement negotiation make her a valuable asset to clients and colleagues alike.

Lisa has more than 20 years’ experience of dealing with Personal Injury matters ranging from road traffic accidents to workplace injury and liability.

Lisa is fluent in German and Persian. She also has experience in Civil Litigation regarding Debt Recovery, Breach of Contract, and Insolvency Law

Client testimonials

"Lovely, friendly, great people. Very understanding too and very good at what they do. Very happy with the result, many thanks again Lisa and everyone involved in my case."

"I would like to express my profound heartfelt gratitude to Lisa Gafarov for all her hard work and understanding when representing me. She fought passionately for my case for two years.

Within this time, never once did I feel it was about the money for her. She was very considerate and dealt with many personal matters in a caring and professional way. It was a very sensitive case but she put in a lot of hard work and went the extra mile each time. Her wide range of expertise was indispensable during this difficult time. Because of this I trusted all her advice and as a result, this took a lot of pressure off of me.

She managed to reach a very amicable conclusion between the defendants and myself. You don’t know how much your passion impacts the lives of others. For this I am forever grateful. I would recommend your firm a hundred times over."
Anonymous, April 2019

Lisa studied ‘Contract Law, European Law and Employment Law’ as part of her degree in BA (Hons) Business Administration. She has also studied other business subjects, including accounting.

Having completed her degree, Lisa started work for Verisona Law in November 1999 in the Personal Injury department as a Trainee Litigation Clerk and since then has developed extensive skills in relation to personal injury litigation and case preparation.

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and trip claims
  • Occupier’s liability claims
  • Product Liability claims
  • Industrial disease claims
  • Work related upper limb disorder claims
  • Clinical negligence, including amputation claims
  • Cosmetic surgery claims
  • Abuse claims

"Thank you for all your much appreciated hard work. I will truly never forget your kindness towards me. Your patience, respect and understanding at all times was beyond words. The sincere compassion shown meant more to me than words could ever express. This firm will forever hold a special place in my heart."


Make an