Sunderland victims of perverted South Tyneside doctor speak of their 'massive violation'

Disgraced doctor Thair Altaii.
Disgraced doctor Thair Altaii.

Victims of a perverted doctor who secretly filmed their consultations have spoken of the "massive violation" they have suffered.

Thair Altaii, 55, from Whitburn, is beginning 14 months in jail after a crown court jury convicted him of three counts of voyeurism between 2008-2014.

He now faces a separate investigation from the General Medical Council (GMC) to see if his interim suspension becomes permanent.

Northumbria Police began their inquiry after one of his two victims spotted mobile phones propped up during consultations at his Sunderland surgery.

Officers then discovered 19,000 images of women - some in various stages of undress - on his laptop.

Detectives praised Altaii's victims after he was sentenced for having the courage to report their suspicions.

Their ordeal was also outlined at the end of the case.

In a victim statement read out by Judge Edward Bindloss, one of the women said: "In the one place you were taught to feel safe I have suffered a massive violation at the hands of a person I am meant to trust with personal problems.

"My circle of friends is now minimal because I don't trust."

Prosecutor Louise Reevell had earlier told Newcastle Crown Court: "One of the victims has suffered a massive violation at the hands of the defendant and a breach of trust.

"She felt there was breach of confidentiality and that makes her feel physically sick.

"She was worried about who had seen them. She worries about how long it had been going on for.

"She will not open up any more and her self esteem is low."

Miss Reevell said that the other victim felt "exploited", adding: "The victim said 'Dr Altaii will never know the true dimensions of what he has caused.'"

Altaii, of White Rocks Grove, insisted that the images may have been produced automatically after filming appointments “for training reasons”.

Jamie Hill, defending, told Tuesday's sentencing hearing: "Although he has been living in a separate location, his wife and daughters still support him."

The GMC has confirmed that Altaii was temporarily suspended from practice after he was reported to police and that it can now resume its own disciplinary inquiries.

A spokeswoman said: "Our fitness to practice investigation continues. Where there are judicial proceedings we would always wait for these to conclude before completing our own investigation."