Indian-origin doctor takes rap in British incest probe

November 28th, 2008 - 2:04 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 28 (IANS) An Indian-origin doctor may now face questioning in the notorious British incest scandal, in which a father repeatedly raped his two daughters for two decades, for not detecting anything amiss in the family even though he treated the girls during all the years of their abuse.Thakur Singh of Sheffield was the only doctor who treated the two daughters since their childhood and till recently, but could not say how he missed the signs of violence and incest all these years.

The case has shocked the country, with the prime minister describing it as “unspeakable” and promising reforms. An inquiry has begun into why the medical profession, along with social workers, police and teachers, failed to spot the warning signs.

The police now believe that the father, who was convicted for life earlier this week, did not change the family doctor because by remaining faithful to the same doctor, the jobless father was able to create a smokescreen that masked his deviant crimes from social workers.

The rapist father, who cannot be named to protect his victims’ identity, regularly forced his battered daughters to make a 100-mile round trip to see Singh in Sheffield, even though the family lived in distant Lincolnshire at the time.

Over the 20-year period when the father was repeatedly abusing his daughters, Singh tended to the girls countless times - first for childhood ailments and later for various issues and complications surrounding their pregnancies. He examined them during all their forced 19 pregnancies.

He was also the doctor who did not find anything wrong with the daughters even when school teachers regularly noticed unexplained bruises on the bodies of the girls and on occasions even raised concern about them.

Singh admitted he thought the family to be “slightly weird”, but that was the end of it.

He told Daily Mail: “Over the years I treated all of their family and their grandparents before them. They made regular appointments at one of my practices. Yes, there were a lot of pregnancies later on, but I don’t remember exactly what I thought about it at the time. I would need to consult my notes that I made. They even used to travel up to see me from Lincolnshire when they lived there.”

His note-keeping has also been questioned for their poor quality and he was even suspended on the ground in 2005. Unable to give any satisfactory explanation, Singh could not get the decision reversed and finally decided to voluntarily stop practising.

Upon prodding to recall his meetings with the family, Singh said he could recall thinking about the family at the time the girls’ mother left them. But he thought the father was a nice person.

“I actually thought the father was a nice man and that is why I am so shocked about what has happened. I don’t know why I failed to spot anything - I would need to see my notes again. The girls must never have said anything.”

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