Expert Lawyers Call On PCT To Reassure Patients Similar Crime Can Never Happen Again
By Helen MacGregor
Specialist abuse lawyers say the guilty plea of a family doctor who sexually assaulted a number of patients and took intimate photos of them at his GP practice is the first step in the victims’ battle for justice.
Dr Barend Delport who worked at a surgery in Swanley, Kent, admitted 26 offences during a hearing at Maidstone Crown Court today (2 August) including four of indecent assaults on adults and three indecent assaults on children.
The 55-year-old was arrested after the mother of one patient called police in May last year after being concerned at the treatment that they had received.
Kent Police said following Dr Delport’s arrest more than 500,000 images were found on his computer.
These included ones taken during medical examinations of both adults and children at the surgery and further indecent images that he had downloaded.
Photographic consent forms were also found which police said Delport had given to patients and claimed they would be used for training purposes.
An NHS helpline has now been set up which concerned patients can call if they are worried about the treatment they received.
Natasha Lewis, who specialises in abuse cases at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This man massively abused the position of trust in which he was placed and carried out the most horrendous crimes that will no doubt continue to have a devastating effect on the victims.
“Vulnerable patients put their trust in Dr Delport and he abused this in the most degrading and appalling way possible.
“His guilty plea today is the first significant step for the victims in their battle for justice, but many of his former patients will continue to suffer psychologically as a result of the horrific abuse he carried out and now need specialist help.
“The local Primary Care Trust must now investigate how such a terrible breach of trust was allowed to happen and provide reassurance to patients that every step is being taken to prevent a similar vile crime from happening again.
“We urge any patients concerned to call the specialist helpline so they can gain access to the support services to help them come to terms with what Dr Delport has done.”
The helpline number is 0800 923 3535 and is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to abuse claims