A surgeon embroiled in a year-long legal battle over allegations of sexually motivated behaviour towards a patient has been suspended.
Dr Mohammed Suhaib Sait was banned from practising medicine for three months by a misconduct panel last April.
It ruled his actions towards a patient in 2016 - which included meeting her at the Eynsford Plough pub and while there asking her to consider divorcing her husband - were sexually motivated.
But the decision was quashed by a High Court judge in November who ruled the hearing had been "procedurally unfair" with a "remarkable failure to cross examine" Mr Sait about his motivation.
A new hearing was ordered and now the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has again found Mr Sait, an orthopaedic consultant who has worked at Longfield’s private BMI Fawkham Manor and is still employed by Darent Valley Hospital, did act in a sexually motivated manner but only in relation to two counts as opposed to four.
Arranging the pub meeting with the Fawkham Manor patient counted as one incident.
The remark about divorce, telling the patient she was "very pretty", instructing her not to tell her husband about the liaison and mentioning his wife was unaware of the meeting or about previous encounters with other patients counted as another.
Telling her she was "pretty" on one or more occasion and asking her to go with him to his car were found not to have been sexually motivated.
The four-day Manchester hearing concluded with the panel ruling the married 55-year-old’s judgement was impaired and suspending him for two months.
The panel’s report read: “Based on the evidence before it, the tribunal was of the view that Mr Sait's behaviour was indicative of sexual motivation with the view of initiating a relationship with Patient A that would go beyond that of a professional doctor-patient relationship.”
The tribunal heard evidence from patients and colleagues of Mr Sait's who provided positive character references.
One nurse said she’d "never heard him make a personal remark to a patient".
But despite the fact "there was no propensity shown in the evidence that Mr Sait had previously acted in a sexual manner towards patients", it ruled on the above occasions he had.
It said: “The tribunal was not convinced of the credibility of Mr Sait's evidence given during the course of these proceedings.
Setting to one side his denial of the facts found proved by the previous tribunal, Mr Sait’s evidence appeared to be inconsistent, making new points that had never been raised in any of his previous evidence (such as offering Patient A an appointment at the hospital or clinic), and gave the impression of being rehearsed and practised."
His explanation of his reasoning to meet Patient A outside of the clinical setting was due to the 'anxious tone' in her voice.
Mr Sait will have 28 days before the suspension is activated in which to appeal the finding.
Darent Valley said it is awaiting the full judgement and will comply with it.