A health worker who invented a glittering but bogus clinical career to secure work as a nurse in the NHS has been jailed for 15 months.
Abdul Pirzada forged a degree certificate and falsely claimed to have worked in global trouble spots for the United Nations and the French Red Cross to land three jobs at health centres in Birmingham.
The 50-year-old, who came to Britain from Afghanistan as an asylum seeker in 2001, spent seven years working as a practice nurse before his CV was found to have been falsified.
Although Pirzada is thought to have a genuine medical qualification from a Russian university, he provided fictitious or exaggerated details to gain work for brief periods as a physician’s assistant and a locum GP.
Pirzada, of Warwick Road, Tyseley, Birmingham, admitted two counts of fraud and one of obtaining a financial advantage by deception at a previous hearing.
Opening the facts of the case, prosecutor Robert Davies said Pirzada worked at medical centres in Saltley, Aston and Sparkhill between February 2004 and April last year.
Outlining the various falsehoods contained in Pirzada’s job applications, Mr Davies told the court: “In simple terms the CV is almost entirely a work of fiction or misleading claims.”
Amongst the lies were claims that the defendant was an adviser to an EU commission on refugees, worked at hospitals in Glasgow and Lahore, and that he was registered as a doctor with the Medical and Dental Council of Pakistan.
Passing sentence, Judge David Tomlinson told Pirzada: “The real criminality here is that you presented false documentation in order to provide medical services. That’s a serious breach of integrity that strikes at the heart of a system dependent on the implicit trust patients must have in those who administer treatment.”
The judge accepted that material gain may not have been the principle motivating factor and that the jail sentence would be damaging to other family members, particularly the defendant’s wife.
Before sentencing the judge was invited to take into account Pirzada’s prominent position as a guest speaker at an unnamed mosque and his role in offering religious teaching to local children.
Defence counsel Richard Fisher, offering mitigation, submitted that Pirzada was remorseful for his actions and had performed his medical duties, which included taking blood samples and testing for diabetes, competently.
Mr Fisher told the court: “There were, it appears, no errors of judgement in terms of his work that led to any harm to his patients.”