Police praise victims for finding courage to report perverted doctor

Dr Thair Altaii will learn his fate next month.
Dr Thair Altaii will learn his fate next month.

Police have praised victims of a perverted doctor for finding the courage to report his lurid behaviour.

Dr Thair Altaii, 55, is facing a potential jail sentence after he was found guilty on Friday of committing three counts of voyeurism between 2008 and 2014.

In total, the GP, of White Rocks Grove, Whitburn, was found to have more than 19,000 images of women on his laptop, some clothed and others in various stages of undress, after one of his patients raised concerns to police.

Speaking after the verdict, Detective Constable Lee Boys, of Northumbria Police, said: “Thair Altaii abused his position of trust and must now deal with the consequences of his actions.

“Not only has he ruined his own professional career and reputation, but he has also caused inevitable distress to his victims who were totally unaware of what he was doing.

“I would like to praise the courage and determination of his victims to come forward and help police with this investigation.”

The court was told Altaii was arrested after a patient noticed two propped up mobile phones during an appointment and subsequently alerted police.

His laptop, along with other equipment, was subsequently seized by officers.

Altaii initially denied recording any of his patients without consent when first spoken to by police.

But, during a later interview, he accepted recording nine medical consultations without permission of the patients or making them aware.

When shown some of the images recovered from his laptop, Altaii said they may have been produced automatically after filming appointments “for training reasons”.

The doctor pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied any of the images or videos were taken for sexual gratification.

Judge Edward Binloss ordered the completion of a pre-sentence report and told him "all options remain open, including an immediate custodial sentence".

Altaii, who was suspended from his role after the allegations came to light, has been granted bail until he is due to be sentenced on Tuesday, August 14, at Newcastle Crown Court.

Any other patients who have concerns are asked to call 0800 464 0386 or 0330 041 2186.