A senior doctor followed a young woman dressed in a mini-skirt around and secretly filmed her legs using a James Bond-style spy camera built into his satchel, a medical tribunal in Manchester heard today.
Dr Steven Forde, 45, a consultant anaesthetist, was spotted by a security guard in York allegedly ‘acting suspiciously’ so he enlisted the help of two police community support officers.
When they asked Dr Forde what he was up to, he admitted that he had been filming the woman for five minutes and even revealed he had done it before and had more images of women at home, a medical tribunal was told.
On closer inspection, his canvas satchel bag was said to have been ‘adapted’ to contain a camera with a telescopic lens which protruded through a concealed hole at the bottom of the bag.
They also found a remote switch in the front pouch which could be used to control the camera, it was said.
Forde was later charged with outraging public decency by using a concealed camera to take pictures without consent. But he was acquitted of the charge on the day of his trial when prosecutors offered no evidence.
Today Dr Forde, from Haxby, near York, appeared on the opening day of a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service fitness to practice hearing in Manchester , where he faces suspension from the medical register if the allegation of misconduct is proved and deemed to have been sexually motivated.
Representing the General Medical Council, Natasha Tahta said: “On May 9 last year Dr Forde was seen by a security guard in York city centre acting suspiciously.
“He was found with a satchel canvas bag which had been adapted to contain a camera with a telescopic lens which protruded between a concealed hole at the bottom. There was a hand-held remote fire switch in the front pouch.
“Two police community support officers attended and they found Dr Forde carrying the bag containing the hidden camera with the telescopic lens and spoke to him. He admitted that he had been filming a young lady for about five minutes and he had done this before and had more images of other females at home.
“In due course he was charged with an offence of outraging public decency then acquitted when the CPS offered no evidence.
“The conduct amounts to misconduct as he videoed the legs and skirt and the lady was in a public place.”
Dr Forde qualified as a doctor in 1991 and was suspended on an interim basis from practicing as a doctor by the General Medical Council after the allegation was made.
He has been qualified as an anaesthetist since 1999, for several years has held a post in York Hospital’s anaesthetics department and has also worked at York’s Clifton Park Hospital.
The doctor will give evidence this afternoon.
Please note: Picture used is for illustrative purposes only and not linked to the case.
Story via Cavendish Press.
Image courtesy of Joshua Stearns, with thanks.