19 June 2020
Yesterday’s judgment of Mr Justice Mostyn in GMC v Awan  EWHC 1553 (Admin) illustrates the fact that the Court’s deference to the specialist Tribunal’s judgment on sanction continues to be extended to cases relating to sexually motivated online misconduct, as also occurred in GMC v X  EWHC 493 (Admin) last year, when Soole J upheld a 12-month suspension.
GMC v Awan concerns a GP’s sexually motivated online chat with someone posing as 13 year old child. The GMC’s appeal under section 40A of the Medical Act 1983 was dismissed by Mostyn J and the 9-month suspension imposed by the Tribunal was upheld.
In November 2019 Dr Hafeez-Ur Rehman Awan came before the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal facing allegations that on 5 January 2016, when he was working as a GP, he had logged into a chat room with the username “medic333” which “obviously signified that he was a member of the medical profession” [#15]. Once in the chat room, the Respondent started exchanging messages with a person with the username “Sophiasheff”, who was in fact a police officer conducting an undercover sting operation.
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