Doctor banned for drugging colleague with ‘unknown substance’ before having sex with her


Shawn Joseph has always denied the allegations and plans to appeal the decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service which struck him off

Dr Joseph worked within the emergency department at Royal Derby Hospital

A doctor who gave a colleague an unknown substance before having sex with her has been struck off.

Shawn Joseph, who practiced in Nottingham, has been erased from the medical register with immediate effect. He denies the allegations.

Tribunal members concluded it was ‘necessary and proportionate’ to strike him off, according to a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) document, which found his fitness to practice impaired.

It was alleged that Dr Joseph, on April 26 2013, had provided a colleague, who cannot be named for legal reasons, with an unknown substance, had sex with her without consent and inflicted injuries on her inner thigh, reports Nottinghamshire Live.

These allegations were determined and found to be proven by the court, but a criminal investigation into the incident did not result in the prosecution of Mr Joseph.

An MPTS court investigates a doctor’s fitness to practice after determining allegations against that doctor. As it is a court, the burden of proof falls on the claimant and the likelihood of an incident happening on the balance of probabilities, whereas a criminal investigation determines if an incident occurred beyond reasonable doubt.

During the time of the allegations, Dr Joseph worked as a senior middle grade doctor within the emergency department at Royal Derby Hospital, part of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) Trust. He most recently worked at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) Trust, which runs Queen’s Medical Center and City Hospital.

Derbyshire Constabulary investigated an allegation of rape after the woman attended St Mary’s Wharf police station in Derby on October 6, 2017 where she was interviewed by police. That was after a different doctor she told about the alleged incident reported it to the police.

The woman was not able to give a full account of exactly what happened until July 3 2018. In September 2018, the bedroom of the flat occupied by the woman at the time of the alleged incident was forensically examined.

Three sections of carpet were forensically examined, but Mr Joseph’s DNA was not found on any. Because of this, Mr Joseph was not charged with any criminal offence.

MPTS documentation states that at 9pm on April 26, 2013, Mr Joseph attended the woman’s flat and brought pizza. Giving evidence, the woman said he was dressed smartly and had a bottle of wine, saying: “It was clear he thought this was date night.”

Mr Joseph denied the allegations, but the court accepted that the woman had been provided with an unknown substance without her knowing. She said she felt nausea, dizziness and distortion in her hearing her after only having half a glass of wine.

In a statement to the court, the woman detailed why she felt Mr Joseph had sex with her without consent, including waking up the next morning at the foot of her bed completely naked. Mr Joseph’s case was that the woman had made a false allegation.

The court found that the woman’s account was truthful because of the detailed account of symptoms she experienced following drinking the wine, how she woke up naked in her room, her injuries, the pain she sustained along with other graphic aspects of what happened.

The court also accepted that the woman was left with a bruise on her right thigh, and three puncture wounds, with scarring left from two of them.

Other allegations of accessing a CT (computerised tomography) record of the woman without consent, making sexually motivated comments, messages and actions, and pressing the woman to live with Dr Joseph were determined and found proved, and that those actions caused the woman to feel harassed, alarmed or distressed.

Mr Joseph had already admitted to some allegations of sending certain messages and looking for a CT record of the woman.

Because the court found these allegations to be determined and proven, it was then decided Dr Joseph’s fitness to practice as a registered doctor was impaired.

Dr Joseph has 28 days to appeal to the GMC (General Medical Council) about the decision.

Although the police investigation ended with no prosecution, UHDB deemed that Dr Joseph could no longer work at the Trust.

At the end of this time, Mr Joseph voluntarily left UHDB for alternative employment.

Dr Magnus Harrison, interim chief executive at UHDB, said: “We are very pleased that the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has reached this conclusion. What took place nearly a decade ago was abhorrent.

“It’s vitally important historical cases such as these are pursued through all available channels and the conclusion of the court means that the events that took place in 2013 will not go unforgotten. In our society today women are still subject to violence and abuse.

“We’re fully committed to supporting anyone who has been a victim of this and we will play our part in ending this epidemic of violence and abuse against women.”

Dr Keith Girling, Medical Director at Nottingham University Hospitals, said: “The incidents which have led to Dr Joseph’s erasure from the medical register today took place in 2013 when he was working elsewhere.

“The Trust will now review the implications of the sanctions which have been imposed with regards to his future employment.”

Nottinghamshire Live approached Dr Joseph. However, he did not provide a comment in relation to the court’s determination and said he intended to appeal the decision.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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