Mohamed Zaahid Pandie outside Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday. Picture: Liam Kidston
Mohamed Zaahid Pandie outside Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday. Picture: Liam Kidston

Downfall that led to doc’s ‘upskirting’ offences

A SENIOR Queensland doctor caught filming up women's skirts at a Brisbane shopping centre was "unravelling" in a "self-destructive and reckless spiral" after complaints were made about his workplace performance, a court has heard.

Doctor Mohamed Zaahid Pandie was the clinical director of paediatric emergency medicine at The Prince Charles Hospital when he was caught using his phone to film up the skirts of seven women at a Mt Gravatt shopping centre in October last year.

He yesterday pleaded guilty to recording the women, including shop staff and customers, aged between 18 and 27, in what Magistrate Anthony Gett described as "lewd and lascivious" offending.

Defence barrister Greg McGuire said the 44-year-old South African-born doctor had fallen from grace.

"Prior to the events of October 2018, the defendant had led a blameless, productive and indeed successful life until he engaged in this behaviour, which is perhaps correctly described as self-destructive, and one immediately asks what the hell went wrong," Mr McGuire said.

The court heard in February last year, Pandie was involved in a workplace incident relating to the management and care of a baby, and about his interpersonal manner to nursing staff, and was asked to take leave.

"That led to obviously a lot of stress, gossip and innuendo," Mr McGuire said.

"He ends up getting suspended without pay, gets involved in a legal battle with respect to that, an order was made to place him on pay, that's still an ongoing battle."

Mr McGuire said the complaints led Pandie, who is also the hospital's deputy director of emergency services, to feel emotionally abandoned and isolated by his colleagues and resentful of his workplace, sparking his self-destructive behaviour.

He said Pandie, who is still employed with the hospital but on leave, was diagnosed with chronic depression at the time of the offending.

"Your honour, it's a very sad state. You will see from the material how many people speak very highly of him even with knowledge of these offences," the barrister said.

"He's been involved for a long period of time in effectively saving the lives of children.

"It takes little imagination to recognise the extraordinary effects this has had, not only on himself, but his family."

Mr Gett said psychological reports tendered to the court showed Pandie was "starting to mentally and psychologically unravel… in the months preceding (the offending)".

"(Your doctor) also notes… that your capacity was somewhat impaired as a consequence of this major depressive illness... and your capacity to control your behaviours and also to know right from wrong was reduced or impaired," Mr Gett said to Pandie.

Pandie was sentenced to a 15-month probation order and no conviction was recorded.

"Persons such as these victim are entitled to go about their business in public area without having persons such as yourself prey on them in a way that invades their privacy," Mr Gett said.

"The Queensland community deserves some protection from you in that regard."