An already disgraced children’s intensive care doctor has pleaded guilty in court today (January 9) to trying to arrange child sexual offences after he was caught in a ‘paedo’ hunter sting in Margate.
Dr Salman Siddiqi was arrested by Kent Police yesterday (January 8) after a call from a ‘silent hunter’ who said he had arranged to meet the doctor at his lodgings by the QEQM Hospital site under the guise of a 14-year-old boy.
The hunter says he turned up at an arranged meeting place after messages were exchanged and photos were sent to him with sexual content.
He then confronted the doctor, who messages show had been expecting oral sex with the ‘teenager’, and chased him through QEQM, where he was working shifts as a locum paediatric doctor via an agency, whilst calling 999. Security removed the hunter from the site but police officers responded to the call.
A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police received a report at 3.30am on Sunday 8 January of a man suspected of attempting to arrange child sexual offences.
“Officers arrested and charged Salman Siddiqi, 44 of Globe Road, Hornchurch (London) with attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child, and one count of attempting to arrange or facilitate a meeting with a child for sexual offences.
“He was remanded to appear at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on Monday 9 January.”
Dr Siddiqi pleaded guilty to the charges today and been remanded in custody. He will appear at crown court for sentencing at a date to be arranged.
A spokesperson for East Kent Hospitals Trust, which runs hospitals including QEQM in Margate, said they were unable to comment due to ongoing legal proceedings but confirmed Dr Siddiqi has been employed through an agency to fill shifts as a locum paediatric doctor at the Trust. It is understood he worked at both Margate’s QEQM and Ashford’s William Harvey Hospital.
The spokesperson added: “We have informed the relevant regulatory bodies, including the General Medical Council.”
Dr Siddiqi, who formerly worked at The Royal Hospital London as a locum paediatric Intensive Care Unit Consultant, was suspended by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) for a month after a hearing last July in connection with failing to report being cautioned for indecent exposure in 2019.
He received a caution from police after exposing his genitals in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. According to Tribunal documents he was apprehended by members of the public until police arrived.
The doctor, who qualified in 2001 and had also worked at Guys and Great Ormond Street children’s hospital, did not inform the GMC of the incident until March 2021.
The Tribunal was told he was remorseful and going through turbulence in his private life. Witnesses called on Dr Siddiqi’s behalf included a Paediatric Consultant from the William Harvey Hospital.
The Tribunal suspended Dr Siddiqi for 28 days and concluded no review after this time would be necessary as “the risk of repetition is low.”
The ‘silent hunter’ said: “I chased him through A&E and he was using a key card to open private doors. I was on the phone to 999. My concern was he was a doctor and around kids.
“I catch online groomers and try and fund child protection. I try to campaign for better laws and guidelines for the police to do a greater job as the public shouldn’t be doing this but the NCA has stated they can’t handle the tsunami of paedophilia online.
“Thanet parents need to know the severity of online grooming and the rise of it and the lack of funding for our amazing police force. They need more boots on the ground, posing as children and more money for operations.
“It’s not cheap for them as they have guidelines whereas it cost me £40 for a phone and a top up of £20 and I can catch people.
“I don’t do this for fame, likes or shares but to wake up the system and the people to safeguard our cubs.”
The hunter travels the country for his stings and says his work has resulted in more than 100 convictions over a nine year period.
A second, unrelated sting in Northdown Road was also carried out by the hunter last night.
A Kent Police spokesperson said: “A 35-year-old man from Margate was arrested at 5.44pm on Sunday 8 January on suspicion of alleged child sexual offences. He was released on bail while enquiries continue.”