June 19, 2008 / 5:02 PM / 10 years ago

TV psychiatrist found guilty of disrepute

LONDON (Reuters) - Psychiatrist and broadcaster Dr Rajendra Persaud brought his profession into disrepute after plagiarising others’ work, the General Medical Council said on Thursday.

The psychiatrist admitted plagiarising four pieces of work for his 2003 book “From the Edge of the Couch” during a GMC disciplinary hearing in Manchester this week.

The former presenter of the BBC Radio 4 programme “All in the Mind” also admitted copying passages from two other pieces of work in a series of newspaper articles and journals.

He had denied dishonesty, but the GMC said he must have known what he was doing.

“You are an eminent psychiatrist with a distinguished academic record who has combined a clinical career as a consultant psychiatrist with work in the media and journalism,” the GMC said.

“The panel is of the view that you must have known that your actions in allowing the work of others to be seen as though it was your own would be considered dishonest by ordinary people.

“The panel has therefore determined that your actions were dishonest in accordance with the accepted definition of dishonesty in these proceedings.”

It went on to say that his actions, in plagiarising the work of others, “were liable to bring the profession into disrepute”.

The GMC is set to decide whether Persaud is still fit to practise, and if not, what action it should take.

He had claimed he was in a confused mental state at the time of writing the work because of the pressure of juggling his NHS and media work.

Persaud is a consultant psychiatrist at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospitals and Gresham professor for Public Understanding of Psychiatry.

In 2002, he was voted one of the top 10 psychiatrists in the UK by a survey of the Institute of Psychiatry and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

He was resident psychiatrist on the daytime TV show “This Morning” and has appeared on the “Richard & Judy” show. He has written regularly for The Daily Telegraph and The Independent newspapers.

Reporting by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Jeremy Lovell

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