Bogus Portuguese doctor convicted

A bogus Portuguese doctor who carried out indecent examinations and gave phoney diagnoses has been convicted.

Antonio Gobbato, 51, also known as Fabio, was found guilty following a six-week long trial at the Inner London Crown Court.

Gobbato variously called himself an 'NHS doctor, gynaecologist and psychiatrist'. He claimed to have qualified in Portugal in massage, homeopathy, iridology, acupuncture and herbal medicines.

However, he had no qualifications as a medical doctor but called himself Dr. Gobbato and tricked his victims with a white coat, certificates and a stethoscope.

Between August 2009 and June 2010 Gobbato practiced from various addresses in London including Pinner, Whitechapel, and Kilburn and at the time of his arrest was practicing in Stockwell.

His patients consisted mainly of people from Brazil and other Portuguese speaking communities, who he exploited as he spoke Portuguese and recognised that some could not access NHS services due to their immigration status.

One mother trusted Gobbato's diagnosis so much that he convinced her to pay thousands for him to accompany her and her family to Italy; under the guise he could treat her husband's alcoholism.

When the husband refused to travel, Gobbato turned his focus to the woman's daughter and claimed he could cure her depression. He sent a text message to a contact in Italy, which read: "Our hero did not want to travel; I am going with mother and daughter. I have to invent some treatment for them".

Gobbato also cruelly told one father his young daughter had an infection which could turn into Leukaemia if left untreated. Gobbato came to this conclusion by performing a finger-prick blood test on the girl.

The sexual assaults occurred under the guise of medical examinations when Gobbato touched women who had come to see him for medical consultations. However, the court heard from genuine doctors, qualified as general practitioners and also in complimentary medicine, that intimate examinations performed were not appropriate or necessary given the ailments the patients presented.

By the spring of 2010 a number of women complained to the General Medical Council and were told that Gobbato was not a registered doctor. The police were informed and an investigation launched.

On 4th June 2010, Gobbato was arrested at his consulting rooms in Stockwell. On 13th June 2012, he was convicted of four counts of sexual assault, two counts of attempted fraud and one count of fraud.

Detective Chief Inspector Seb Florent, who led the investigation said: "Antonio Gobbato is a fraudster and a trickster. He pretended to be a doctor and people trusted him but he exploited their trust, purely so he could take advantage of them and gain financially.

"I am pleased that he has been convicted today and his shocking activities have come to light. I would urge anyone who has been a victim of Antonio Gobbato to contact the police."

Gobbato will be sentenced on 13th July 2012 at the Inner London Crown Court.

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