A Warwickshire doctor whose lies about his qualifications caused a court case to collapse has been jailed for six months.
Mohammed Rafiq also falsely claimed he had been awarded a prestigious prize on his CV. Sentencing him at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Trevor Faber said he had taken into account that Rafiq’s career had now been destroyed and that no complaint had been made about his standard of work as a doctor.
But he said: “Judges are entitled to expect witnesses, and in particular expert witnesses, to be scrupulously honest as to their evidence when it comes to their qualifications and experience.’’
He said the central issue in the case was dependant on the medical evidence that was given and added: “Perjury of any kind hits at the very heart of the judicial system.’’
Rafiq, 47, of The Long House, Great Alne, Alcester, had previously pleaded guilty to two charges of perjury.
Simon Davis, prosecuting, said Rafiq was chosen by a firm of solicitors representing the claimant in a personal injuries case arising out of a road traffic accident, on the basis he had suitable qualifications including being a member of the Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons as well as having an additional specialist qualification in trauma and orthopaedics.
He said the claimant who was injured was a doctor himself and that to give expert evidence Rafiq was required to examine him before trial, make an assessment about his level of injury and make a prognosis for the future. He also had to consider medical reports from the respondent’s expert and give his opinion about them.
Mr Davies said Rafiq initially gave evidence on oath at Birmingham County Court in May 2005 and the case was adjourned until September of that year.
Solicitors for the respondent became concerned about parts of his evidence and at the second hearing Rafiq was specifically cross-examined about his qualifications which he maintained were correct.
Mr Davies said the solicitors then made further investigations which revealed Rafiq’s claims were untrue. He said although the doctor had applied to sit an exam to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1991, he had later withdrawn from the examination.
In addition the doctor had twice sat an exam for trauma and orthopaedic surgery but had failed on each occasion.
As a result, said Mr Davies, the civil action collapsed and Rafiq ended up paying £60,000 costs. Jonathan Goodman, defending, said Rafiq, who had a first-class honours degree in chemistry, was medically qualified and not a charlatan.
‘’What he has done, and in so doing has destroyed his career and his reputation, is simply tell two lies.’’
He said he was a talented doctor who had had numerous articles published in journals including The Lancet.