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Former GP Dr Thair Altaii was found guilty of voyeurism at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this year. Over 19,000 images of women were found in his possession.
The 55-year-old former “trusted family doctor” was caught with the images and video footage after a patient raised concerns about being recorded. During her appointment, she’d noticed two mobile phones propped up; one facing a chair, and the other facing the examination table. Police were informed, and after Dr Altaii initially denied having any such material in his possession after arrest, a shocking discovery was later found when his laptop was seized.
Here, we’ll look at this in terms of legal advice for a data protection claim.
The jury verdict in the case of Dr Thair Altaii was swiftly received. After three charges were brought by two women – all of which he denied – he was found guilty of voyeurism during the period of 2008 to 2014.
Dr Thair Altaii had initially denied taking any such images or footage at all. He then, in a prepared statement, accepted recording a small number of videos without consent. He labelled this as an “error of judgment” and pleaded that the material was for training and assessment purposes.
The jury disagreed. With over 19,000 images of women found – some clothed, and some in various stages of undress – the guilty verdict is hardly surprising. This aspect certainly helps to support a data breach claim.
The fact that there was no consent for footage and images to be taken means Dr Thair Altaii has no real defence in terms of that angle for a claim.
Even if his arguments that he was taking footage for training and assessment purposes instead of for some form of sexual gratification had have worked, there was no consent. In the criminal case, the women involved were asked if they had consented to images and footage being taken. Both were clear in confirming they hadn’t.
Dr Thair Altaii ultimately abused his duty of trust in taking images and footage without consent (voyeurism charges aside).
Doctor-patient confidentiality is so important. Ultimately, this remains a far more sinister case given the charges Dr Thair Altaii was convicted for.
Victims in this case have a clear right of redress for what has happened. Anyone who has been affected by this case can contact our legal team for free, no-obligation and confidential help.
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