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UK: Indian-origin doc banned for filming female medics showering

Source: PTI
September 21, 2011 14:24 IST
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An Indian-origin cardiologist, who set up spy cameras in bathrooms to record images of his women colleagues, has been ordered to a 10-year sex offender treatment programme.

Vivek Baliga, 33, appeared before the Leeds Crown Court, where Judge Scott Wolstenholme told him that he would receive a community order for three years. He said Baliga's behaviour would be 'considered by almost everyone to be disgusting and despicable'.

In addition, he said Baliga was prohibited from approaching either of the victims and he is barred from operating any device capable of recording images, the Daily Mail reported today.

Baliga, who is studying for a PhD in Leeds, pleaded guilty to three counts of voyeurism against the two doctors. Prosecutor Carmel Pearson told the court that Baliga set up the recording devices between September 2007 and December 2009 to store the films of his two female friends on his laptop.

Pearson said, "They considered him a close friend. Both had considered him part of their social group and had allowed him into their homes."

One of the doctors discovered she had been videoed when he visited Baliga's home on 13 December 2009 with her boyfriend. The defendant suggested she use the shower in his en-suite bathroom.

Pearson said, "While she was showering she discovered a video camera. It was switched on and had recorded her taking a shower. She tried to delete the images of her. She was horrified. She went back to the bedroom and told her partner. They left without speaking to the defendant. He tried to stop them from leaving. They just drove off".

She added, "He then bombarded Miss A with texts and phone calls begging for forgiveness. His life would be ruined if she reported him to the police."

Pearson said that after a great deal of consideration she finally reported the matter to police. His computer equipment was seized and it was discovered that he had taken a camera to another woman's house and installed it in her shower and a toilet.

Richard Reed, lawyer for the defendant, said his client was of previous good character and was full of "profound regret and remorse for his behaviour". He said the implications for him were 'far-reaching' with the General Medical Council investigating his behaviour.   

"He has had to disclose these offences to employers and colleagues. That is enormously stressful and he now faces court," he said.

In a text message to one of his victims, Baliga wrote, "I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. I made the biggest mistake of my life. I will never forgive myself. I will regret it forever. I have lost a good friend. I am an idiot."

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