The Daily Telegraph

Doctor failed to come clean on Harvey Nichols thefts

- By Daily Telegraph Reporter

A HOSPITAL doctor has been suspended for a year after failing to disclose conviction­s for stealing jeans and sunglasses from Harvey Nichols and a handbag from Harrods.

Dr Sunita Sharma was arrested in 2008 after security staff at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbri­dge, central London, found she had used scissors to cut security tags from the items in a changing room before trying to leave with them.

She accepted a caution from police for theft, going equipped for theft and the theft of the handbag from Harrods earlier that day.

However, a medical disciplina­ry hearing was later told she failed to report her criminal record and it was only uncovered after she was later convicted of theft following a separate incident.

While working as a junior clinical fellow at Manchester Royal Infirmary in September 2018, Dr Sharma appeared at Stockport magistrate­s’ court in May 2019 for stealing items, including a microwave jug and travel bags, from a Lakeland store in Handforth, Cheshire.

She was convicted of theft, fined £286 and ordered to reimburse Lakeland

for the cost of the items which was put at £104.18.

When she reported this matter to the General Medical Council (GMC), her previous offences and caution in 2008 were uncovered.

The tribunal ruled that failing to report the 2008 police caution to the GMC, as she was obliged to do, amounted to misconduct.

The tribunal noted: “These were not spur of the moment and these acts needed some planning. In relation to the incident in 2008, Dr Sharma had taken scissors and used them to remove tags; in 2018, she had with her a large bag to secrete those items to be taken from the shop. The tribunal found that these were serious matters.”

Dr Sharma, who qualified in Rajasthan, India, before coming to Britain at the age of 30, told the hearing she had come from a very “well-to-do” family who had high expectatio­ns of her.

The tribunal noted: “Dr Sharma has expressed an apology, regret, remorse and shame for her offending and that she understand­s the gravity of it.”

It said Dr Sharma’s actions, “whilst serious, were not fundamenta­lly incompatib­le with continued registrati­on”.

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