Former Gravesend GP Navin Naran Zala jailed after indecent assault guilty verdicts
PUBLISHED: 16:20 19 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:26 19 June 2013
A former Gravesend GP has been jailed for 11 years today after being found guilty of indecently assaulting teenage patients.
Navin Naran Zala was convicted of 10 counts of indecent assault at his surgery in Marling Way on patients between 14 and 17 years old in the 1980s and 1990s.
The 63-year-old’s crimes first came to light in 2011 following complaints by two former patients and he was arrested on September 29 of that year.
As the investigation by Kent Police and the NHS developed, he was charged with eight counts of indecent assault on two victims.
He was subsequently charged with three other counts of indecent assault on another female.
Zala was cleared of one indecent assault charge and he will be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life following the trial at Hove Crown Court.
Investigating officer Det Con Zoe Traynor of Kent Police, said: “Zala’s actions were a dreadful abuse of the trust placed in him by his patients. They went to their doctor expecting to be treated with care and compassion and instead he abused and betrayed them for his own sexual gratification.
“He assaulted his victims while they were at their most vulnerable and it has taken incredible courage for them to come forward to report his crimes. I would like to pay tribute to their bravery, which allowed us to launch an investigation and bring Zala to justice.
“His actions have traumatised his victims and had a real impact on their lives and relationships. They came forward to us with their experiences and we listened to them. At Kent Police, we will always treat victims of sexual offences with care and compassion.
“I hope today’s verdict can bring them some measure of closure and allow them to move on with their lives.”