Assault by A&E doctor ‘not proved’


Allegations against an Accident and Emergency doctor (A&E) doctor accused of assaulting two security staff members at Tunbridge Wells Hospital, where he worked, have not been proved.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal said that it had not been proved that Dr Layth Shaker had pushed a security supervisor or attempted to punch a security officer, grab him by the throat, force him to the floor and kick him.

No action will be taken against Dr Shaker, who has been a qualified doctor for 33 years. The Tribunal concluded: “The facts have not been proved, it therefore follows that Dr Shaker’s fitness to practise is not impaired”.

It was alleged that on February 22, 2021, Dr Shaker arrived for his shift at the hospital and entered through a staff entrance. A security officer noticed he was wearing scrubs under his clothes, which was a direct breach of the infection control policy in place at the hospital at the time. When asked for his name by the security officer, identified as ‘Mr B’, Dr Shaker continued to walk towards the staircase leading to A&E without answering him.

‘Mr B’, followed Dr Shaker and was joined by his security supervisor, ‘Mr A’ who he had summoned on his radio, asking for “urgent assistance”. The three men ended up together in “close proximity” in a stairwell.

The incident, which took place at the hospital run by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW), was reported to the General Medical Council four days later by Mr A.

At the hearing, Dr Shaker gave evidence both in person and in written statements. Seven people provided testimonials and witness statements on behalf of Dr Shaker.

Dr Shaker said at the hearing that he had told Mr B he was going back to his car to change his scrubs. The hearing report stated: “CCTV footage from the hospital corridor showed Dr Shaker leaving the A&E Department and walking in the direction of the doors leading to the stairwell, which would have led him out of the building. Mr B and Mr A could be seen purposefully following Dr Shaker from behind.”

“Dr Shaker complains that he was subjected to unwarranted and forceful restraint and from which, in fear, he struggled to break free.” All three men made complaints about the actions of the other and made statements of complaint shortly after the incident.”

The Tribunal found: “Despite significant aspects of the physical altercation being in dispute, the Tribunal noted that it was not disputed that Mr A stumbled backwards down the stairs before falling from approximately the third step from the bottom and that he landed on his back.

“It was also accepted that Mr B also briefly ended up on the floor. Following this, Mr A and Mr B physically restrained Dr Shaker on the floor, where he was being restrained when others joined them on the stairs. Firstly ‘Mr G’. Mr G could be seen on the CCTV footage approaching in the direction of the stairwell door. By the time Mr G arrived, Dr Shaker was already being physically restrained by Mr A and Mr B.”

Mr G’s identity and role in the matter were not revealed. Dr Shaker said that he “accepted that his response was to fight to break free, that he was scared and struggling as hard [as he could]”. He denied that he had punched or grabbed Mr B’s throat or kicked him.

The Tribunal panel concluded that while it could not totally reject the evidence given by Mr A and Mr B, Dr Shaker’s account of events on the landing was “equally, and in some respects more, plausible”.

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