Dr Vivek Balliga leaving Leeds Crown Court
Published on Tuesday 20 September 2011 09:11
A HIGHLY respected doctor who spied on female friends in the shower and on the toilet has avoided jail.
Vivek Balliga, a 33-year-old cardiologist working for a PhD in Leeds, was told by judge Scott Wolstenholme that if the victims had been patients a custodial sentence would have been imposed.
Carmel Pearson, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday that the defendant had pleaded guilty to three counts of voyeurism involving two women, both of whom are doctors.
The offences were said to have occurred between September 2007 and December 2009.
Ms Pearson said: “They considered him a close friend. Both had considered him part of their social group and had allowed him into their homes.”
But one of the doctors found her trust betrayed on December 13, 2009, when she visited his home with her boyfriend.
Ms Pearson said the defendant said she could use the shower in his ensuite bathroom and the next morning she did so.
“While she was showering she discovered a video camera. It was switched on and had recorded her taking a shower. She tried to delete the images of her. She was horrified.
“She went back to the bedroom and told her partner. They left without speaking to the defendant. He tried to stop them from leaving. They just drove off.
“He then bombarded Miss A with texts and phone calls begging for forgiveness. His life would be ruined if she reported him to the police.”
Ms Pearson said that after a great deal of consideration she finally reported the matter to police. Police seized his computer equipment and discovered he had taken a camera to another woman’s house and installed it in her shower and a toilet. She told police she had invited him to stay at her house more than once.
Richard Reed, for the defendant, said his client was of previous good character and was full of “profound regret and remorse for his behaviour”.
He said the implications for him were “far-reaching” with the General Medical Council investigating his behaviour. “He has had to disclose these offences to employers and colleagues,” he said. “That is enormously stressful and he now faces court.”
In a text message to one of his victims he wrote: “I am thoroughly ashamed of myself. I made the biggest mistake of my life. I will never forgive myself. I will regret it forever. I have lost a good friend. I am an idiot.”
Judge Wolstenholme told the defendant he would receive a community order for three years and said his behaviour would be “considered by almost everyone to be disgusting and despicable”.
In addition he said Balliga, of Springfield Mount, Horsforth, Leeds, was prohibited from approaching either of the victims and would be the subject of a sexual prevention order for 10 years. He is not to operate a video device capable of recording images from a concealed location.