16 June 2015
Nafees Hamid Abuse and the Time Limits for Bringing a Claim
Leading neurosurgeon Nafees Hamid was jailed for 16 years by Birmingham Crown Court last November for sexually abusing his patients.
51-year-old Hamid was convicted of indecent assaults against six female patients. The offences took place between 2009 and 2013 at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth and Priory hospitals.
Jurors at Birmingham Crown Court heard how Hamid’s victims had sought his help for back and neck problems but Hamid would perform intimate and prolonged examinations on them that were medically unjustifiable. These examinations would often be performed without gloves.
In sentencing Nafees Hamid, Judge Patrick Thomas QC said it was “the most extreme breach of trust.” He commented how Hamid’s patients had sought his expertise in helping them with their medical problems, but instead had been “grossly abused” by the doctor.
Time Limits for Sexual Abuse Claims
Some months passed before Nafees Hamid’s victims decided to pursue a claim for compensation under civil law.
The trauma of giving evidence at a criminal trial is a very brave step for abuse victims, especially when you consider that such trials can continue for some time. I am currently representing a survivor of Nafees Hamid’s abuse and know how much courage it takes to come forward and speak out.
Under civil law, anyone wishing to pursue a personal injury claim for compensation must do so within three years of the date of the event complained of. If legal proceedings do not begin in court within this three year period, the case is then ‘time-barred’, or ‘statute-barred’ as it is sometimes known.
Many abuse claims in recent years have been brought outside this three-year period. It is a very complex argument, however, and judges have been known to use their discretion to allow a claim to proceed out of time, provided it is fair to do so.
As Nafees Hamid’s abuse happened fairly recently and the criminal trial concluded only a few months ago, I would encourage any other abuse survivors to come forward as soon as possible.
I would be very happy to speak to you about any of the issues raised and assure you that all communication will be dealt with in strict confidence.
Efa Schmidt is a Personal Injury Solicitor specialising in abuse cases at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
Slater and Gordon’s specialist team of Abuse Lawyers are currently representing over 800 survivors of abuse including people who have suffered abuse by medical professionals.
For free, completely confidential legal advice call us 24/7 on 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and let us know when and where to call you.
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