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Rejected Medical Student Attracts Criticism

Jul 01 2008 08:25
William the Conquerer
Imperial's decision to remove an offer from an A-level student has attracted criticism.
Majid Ahmed will not be joining these guys...

Imperial has come under fire by charities and MPs after removing an offer to study Medicine from an A-level student with a spent criminal conviction. Majid Ahmed, from Little Horton in Bradford, has four As at A-level (doesn't everyone now?) and had originally been offered a place before disclosing his conviction for burglary in 2005. Ahmed was sentenced to four months community service and has since volunteered with disability charities and moved schools.

The College invited Ahmed to a second interview upon learning of his conviction, where a variety of evidence to support his reformed character was presented, including references from his school, charities and doctors with whom he had carried out work experience. A College response described the interview as follows:

"At this interview the panel explores details surrounding the criminal event and the applicant?s involvement in it. It is important that the applicant is able to demonstrate that they have insight into the event and the implications of their involvement in it, that they possess a mature attitude and that they understand the privileges and particular sensitivities of medicine as a career."

Ahmed told the Guardian: "I had the place and then it was taken off me. I am overwhelmed by anger that I have let something like this affect my life. I'm a kid who has grown up surrounded by violence and drugs. Give me a chance and I'll show the universities that I'm not a bad guy. I won't risk their reputation."

Imperial has defended its position, saying it plays an important role in helping to uphold trust in the medical profession by checking criminal records. Crime reduction charities and MPs have attacked the decision, highlighting that Ahmed has the requisite grades but also comes from a deprived background - something currently lacking amongst Imperial students.

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Discussion about “Rejected Medical Student Attracts Criticism”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. This post has been deleted.
Jul 01 2008 12:25
Jul 01 2008 12:35

Message deleted because it made no sense... (less so than post mosts on Live!, anyway)

3. Matt   
Jul 01 2008 13:07

Is there another candidate, equally able, but without the criminal conviction? If so, they deserve the place more than Ahmed.

4. Hmm.   
Jul 01 2008 13:29

'The College invited Ahmed to a "fitness to practise" hearing'

Shouldn't this be down to the GMC rather than individual colleges?

Jul 01 2008 14:02

The kid stole, the kid lied. On UCAS it specifically asks if you have a criminal conviction. You ef up, you're gone. Simple.

Jul 01 2008 14:14

This article has been updated with more details of the nature of the second interview.

Jul 01 2008 14:58

Possibly update with a link to the Guardian article?

8. higgs   
Jul 01 2008 14:59

what are the 4 A-Levels in? are they proper subjects?

9. Andy   
Jul 01 2008 15:26

I have to agree with Brown Couch, if you lie or omit information on your UCAS form, they have every right to bounce you out.

College have it right on this one, I think.

Jul 01 2008 15:42

He didn't have a criminal conviction because it was 'spent' (if under 18 and subject to a community order, the conviction is spent after 2.5 years). That isn't required to be listed on the UCAS form or when applying for jobs etc.

11. Editor   
Jul 01 2008 15:42

Full College statement to clear things up a bit, given that his conviction was spent so he would ordinarily not be required to reveal it:

"Imperial College complies fully with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Code of Practice and does not unfairly discriminate against any applicant on the basis of a conviction.

"Admission to medicine at Imperial is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) Section 4(2) (Exemption) Order 1975 and DHSS Circular HC(88)9 guidelines regarding child protection and police checks.

"Medicine is focused on preparing students for a specific professional career that has particularly demanding requirements. Medical practitioners hold a position of responsibility within society, and must often deal with vulnerable people and sensitive situations. The public must have confidence in the integrity and probity of its doctors.

"As a condition of acceptance to its medical degree courses, and in common with all UK medical schools, all applicants are required to have completed an enhanced criminal record disclosure by the given deadline. This is required before the course begins because students come into clinical contact with patients and vulnerable people from the very beginning.

"The process for selection of candidates for Medicine is run separately from the process which considers CRB disclosures, in order that selection panels are not prejudiced by information or deliberations around the latter."

"Applicants are required to declare all convictions, whether spent or unspent. If an applicant has a criminal record then depending upon the nature of the crime, they may be required to attend an additional interview.

"At this interview the panel explores details surrounding the criminal event and the applicant?s involvement in it. It is important that the applicant is able to demonstrate that they have insight into the event and the implications of their involvement in it, that they possess a mature attitude and that they understand the privileges and particular sensitivities of medicine as a career.

"Depending on the outcome of this interview, the College may decide to withdraw the conditional offer."

Jul 01 2008 17:29

It appears superficially that College is undermining the legal system by saying that he is not rehabilitated enough to be on an equal footing with other (successful) applicants.

He made a mistake, he paid for it, and all this talk about the lack of social mobility just comes to nothing if a rarity like him isn't given a chance. Bradford is a s**thole, and coming from that to get here is incredibly commendable. No wonder the Guardian leaped upon the story, they love the rags to riches with the Man keeping them down angle. So knowing how the Guardian will paint it, I am trying to remain sceptical and assume College knew what they were doing - but since the panel probably all read the Telegraph and think he is a hoody, they themselves will be fallible.

If the nature of the crime was violent then it is worth a more thorough investigation. Otherwise, I can see how he has done nothing wrong.

Jul 01 2008 18:56

Ash (et al),

Agreed -- but the medical professions, along with many others (including teaching and anything which will involve children) -- are subject to the Rehabilition of Offenders Act (as College have cited) which means that convictions otherwise "spent" a) must be disclosed, and b) may be taken into account.

Unfortunately for this poor guy, his moment of madness in his youth will show up in an Enhanced CRB check forevermore.

Note also that I understand his crime was burglary (dwelling-house), which ranks as pretty serious in my book.

Jul 01 2008 18:57

In case it wasn't clear, I'm backing the College 100% on this one.

Jul 01 2008 20:50

I don't understand why we must feel sorry for this guy - he should take up a different hobby to breaking and entering. I won't be surprised now if he gets a place at another uni as a publicity stunt or something.

i'm with the college 100% too - can't he do a subject all the medic wannabes/flops do?

Jul 01 2008 23:07

It's interesting that neither this article, nor the one in The Guardian mention how the other medical schools he applied to reacted to him lying on his UCAS form. I'd be surprised if any other reputable institution would accept someone who'd committed a pre-meditated crime like burglary to study medicine.

Presumably he wasn't arrogant enough to only apply to Imperial...

Jul 02 2008 07:30

New information on this story today and yesterday:

  • He applied to Manchester and was rejected because he spent his gap year volunteering with children rather than in medicine (currently appealing)
  • He claims that he entered the house he admitted burgling because friends told him it was their property, but it was not (during a night out). The lenient four month referral order was presumably because he entered a guilty plea and it was his first time before the court.
Jul 02 2008 14:12
Jul 02 2008 15:00

He sounds like a pompous, whinging a**ehole. Sure, he'd fit in with the medics, but it's not like we need another of their ilk clogging up the place.

IC are completely in the right here. He needed to declare his conviction and didn't. Note how he doesn't mention that in his article. It's heartening to see IC standing as a bastion against the unfit to enter.

Jul 02 2008 15:13

The rules are the rules.

The rule says you must declare any convictions you have on your record. If you lie, they'll probably catch you out at some point.

Why not simply tell the truth? The College policy states that they might offer you an interview to discuss what you did and the circumstances in which it arose. I would have thought it was 99% likely that would happen in his case (first offence, quite young, etc), and reasonably likely that if what he says in the Guardian article is true (that he was duped into it, entered a guilty plea, etc) then College would seriously consider letting him in, all other things being equal.

The point is not that College are discriminating against him because he committed a criminal act. They're not. They're discriminating against him because he lied. I have no problem with that.

And yes, he sounds like a pompous moron in the article. Call the waaahmbulance.

Jul 02 2008 17:19

Please look at Ashley's comment above before you start saying that he broke the rules of UCAS. He didn't.

22. Hmm.   
Jul 02 2008 18:25

"if what he says in the Guardian article is true"

He was found guilty by the courts. It's not down to College to decide that the courts' decision was wrong. They don't have the authority to effectively hold a private retrial or quosh a conviction, the conviction is there and they must base their decision on the assumption that it was a just conviction: if it wasn't, the problem lies elsewhere.

Jul 02 2008 19:07

He wasn't found guilty by the courts. He entered a guilty plea, because he was on someone else's property after his 'friends' broke in. This is why he got a four month referral order rather than a few months with the other Young Offenders...

It would be interesting to see what sentence his "friends" got though - that would determine whether the courts believed him.

Jul 02 2008 20:00


I respectfully disagree.

See the statement at the bottom (I believe quoting it here counts as fair-use).

"Criminal convictions

An applicant who has a relevant criminal conviction that is not spent is required to state this on the application. 'Relevant' is defined in Apply as offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, or offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking.

Convictions that are spent (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered to be relevant. Certain courses, for example, teaching, health, social work, veterinary medicine, veterinary science or courses involving work with children or vulnerable adults, do not come under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act."

Regardless of the pedantry of UCAS rules however, it's stated pretty clearly on the applicant-side of the site that there may be "additional requirements" possibly including CRB checks -- so there we go. As I've already said, his offence will appear on an Enhanced CRB check for the rest of his life; his own fault, I'm afraid.

25. Jez   
Jul 02 2008 20:28

I just read his new article in the Guardian - what a tit!

I bet a lot of medical schools don't even consider people with criminal convictions - at least this guy had the opportunity to present his case to a panel. Personally, I find it reassuring that it takes more than a sob story to get into Imperial.

26. meh   
Jul 03 2008 05:31

College could have at least sent him to Biology, I can understand the concerns of some one with a criminal record going into medicine, but he didn't break UCAS rules, his conviction is spent and he did plead guilty

Jul 03 2008 09:46

I am not entirely convinced what impact his or for that matter anyone else's criminal record has on the education they wish to pursue?

Instead of engaging people and hoping a university education will improve them, by rejecting people like this guy, surely we are playing into the hands of the radicals and criminals. I bet you in the street of bradford and peshawar, the kids are being read this story out loud to highlight the arrogance and highly suspect discetionary behaviour of insitiutions like Imperial.

In his case, when we lament the collapse of our criminal justice system, to see a young man, who to be perfectly honest can't even be called a proper criminal (one swallow...summer etc.) managed to get an offer based on an assessment of his academic and other relevant qualities, anything else is moot.

Besides, lying didn't affect Alan Sugar's decision! Remember this guy is actually just a kid, albeit one with very poor guidance, but should that be his problem?

Jul 03 2008 09:51

No it shouldn't. They should give him a place in Biology, which would give him the option of transferring to PG medicine.

Although given all the fuss he's made in the press, I suspect no-one would be prepared to do that now.

29. Bobby   
Jul 03 2008 09:54

Since when has it been the college's responsibility to rehabilitate young offenders - especially when there are so many excellent and law abiding applicants!

30. Flower   
Jul 03 2008 10:10

This moron was doing his Waaahhh Waaaahhhhh Waaaahhhhh to the nation on BBC breakfast first thing this morning.

BBC didn't bother with a balanced interview either, just let him put his side of the story, gave him sympathy and moved on.

Apparently the fitness to practice interview was biased from the start. Apparently. According to him.

He also suggested that Imperial, by turning him down, was forcing him into a life of crime.

I've also heard (from a doctor who has just registered with the GMC) that the GMC wouldn't accept him anyway, since he has a criminal conviction. Sounds like college is doing him a favour by stopping him from wasting 6 years of his life.

Why can't people accept that there are some things that they can't do in life. He (as a convicted criminal) can't do medicine (or teaching etc.). I, as a mal-coordinated fool can't play top class football. You don't see me whining to the press about is.

At any rate this kid needs to grow up, move on, and choose another profession that will masage his vast sense of inferiority.

I'm feeling angry this morning.

Jul 03 2008 10:39

NUS wants the government to step in and sort it out:,,2288659,00.html

That's reason enough not to give him a place anywhere.

32. errrm   
Jul 03 2008 11:59

Yeah, the media have started spinning this out of all proportion and the kid is a whining brat and needs to man up and move on.

PS Will people stop suggesting he be palmed off into Biology? It's not pre-med or the medicine-reject course (any more). The new Biomedical Sciences degree (started in 2005/2006) is where all those gimps go now.

33. Grrr   
Jul 03 2008 14:07

It is reason enough not to be part of the NUS!

"Evidence obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and seen by the Guardian confirms his conviction was also a factor in a decision by Manchester University to reject him." - so it is not just IC that are the bad guys.

Every year the press come up with some sob story from someone who got straight "A"'s but rejected from Oxbridge - I guess IC was going to come up at some point.

Jul 03 2008 18:05

Don't give in!

35. medic   
Jul 03 2008 20:31

The way that he's reacting to this setback is pathetic - I doubt he'd make it through five or six years of a medical degree - can you imagine the fuss he'd make if he failed an exam...

Jul 03 2008 22:41

Since Imperial is such a money making corporate machine, they should allow him into medicine - but just charge higher fees! Then he can steal more money to pay them

Jul 04 2008 01:11

He claims he was duped into entering someone else's house yet entered a guilty plea? Is it just me or does something not add up there. If he was duped then he isn't guilty of committing any crime, so why plead guilty? Given that he lied to Imperial I wouldn't put it past him to lie to The Guardian too. Certainly seems odd to me.

And trust the NUS to want state intervention in a private matter. Last I checked IC was not a public organisation which means only left wing idiots of the NUS would want the state to intervene. Glad we left.

Jul 04 2008 10:18

...didn't any of the voluntary / work experience placements require enhanced CRB disclosure? I've heard of it being required even for medical admin work.

Jul 04 2008 16:22

"He claims he was duped into entering someone else's house yet entered a guilty plea? Is it just me or does something not add up there."

Okay. You CAN be guilty of a crime and plead guilty but have diminished responsibility. Hence the distinction between manslaughter and first degree murder and various other crimes. It is very possible that he did not know he was breaking and entering, but upon later finding out that he was, he realised that he committed a crime and pleaded guilty. This was the clever thing to do; realising you made a mistake that you weren't completely at fault for and owning up. The fact he entered the house even though he was duped means he committed a crime and he did not deny it. If he pleaded not-guilty he'd be saying that he never broke the law, i.e. not committing B and E in the first place, which would be a lie. I hope I am being clear on this.

"Last I checked IC was not a public organisation."

It is public, unlike Buckingham University, state-funded both directly and indirectly and thus there has to be a large amount of transparency. The institution does indeed set its own entry requirements and can refuse entry within reason. You need to make this distinction, and in this area the government is concerned the most, hence them calling for more transparency because the government will end up footing part of the bill for who attends Imperial.

Jul 04 2008 19:01

I rechecked. He was charged, pleaded guilty and convicted of burglary not B and E. According to his story in the Guardian though he was invited into a house by his friends thinking it was theirs and arrested within minutes. He only pleaded guilty, he says, to avoid embarrassing his mother by being taken to court. Still doesn't add up.

If he was invited into a house thinking it was his friends how were any of them charged with burglary? If they didn't steal anything then it makes no sense. If they were stealing stuff how could he have thought it was their house? And if he was genuinely duped as he says would the police really have charged him? Would the CPS really have tried to prosecute when there was no way he had committed a crime? So I remain suspicious and would like more details of what actually happened, what he was actually charged with and why, what his friends were charged with etc.

Jul 05 2008 08:46

Caaaammmoon! Everybody knows biology is to medicine what materials is to engineering :P

If college offered him biology he would have either sold out (considering he wants to do medicine) and taken the offer or refused it in which case non of the press could have made a story out of this. It would have been win win for college. I should work in the blue cube!

Jul 05 2008 15:32

from the guardina "Majid Ahmed, from Bradford, was convicted of a minor burglary in 2005"

yeah i bet the owners of the property consider it a "minor" offence.

From the BBC

"A Texas man who shot dead two suspected burglars has been let off without any charges. "

Me thinks that Majid got off lightly.

Jul 05 2008 19:19

Yet another Guardian article:,,2289183,00.html

Now all the other big medical schools seem to be having a dig at Imperial.

It sounds like he applied to and was rejected by Cambridge, who are now suggesting he applies for their graduate entry course "at a slightly older age and when his spent conviction is more in the past"

Obviously they (like IC and Manchester) weren't convinced that he was a suitable applicant either, but I notice that we're the only ones getting bad press about this, and Majid Ahmed is being portrayed as some sort of victim.

I wonder how many people in the UK get rejected by medical schools each year...

44. Tom   
Jul 06 2008 13:10

I don't think it's the rejection people are annoyed about, just that he did have a place and then he didn't.

45. Bobby   
Jul 06 2008 18:36

That's because he lied on his UCAS form (see post 24). If he'd told the truth, he probably wouldn't have been offered a place at all and there wouldn't be a big controversy about it because he'd have just been one of many unsuccessful applicants.

46. si   
Jul 06 2008 22:07

here here,

its not as if the place will go unfilled, Imperial is massively over subscribed and the place will go to a candidate the the college considers to be more deserving.

I disagree the point that "If he'd told the truth, he probably wouldn't have been offered a place at all.." but he does only have himself to blame as he has given the college that ability to state that its not because of the conviction but because he lied about it, and don't take that c**p about "I didn't know I had to mention it" or "the conviction is spent". It states clearly and for very good reasons that ALL spent and unpspent convictions must be disclosed, if he did not bother to read this or did not understand this then he shouldn't be studying at Imperial anyway.

Also by the way Burglary is NOT a "minor" offence as implied by the ultra-liberal Guardian. Minor offence are those such as petty theft (shop lifting) and graffitii.

A commonly argued point for leinency in youth offences is "he'll have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life" well it appears that one of the consequences of breaking into someones elses home is that you can't become a doctor.

My heart bleeds, anyone got a bandaid, ok any non-criminals got a bandaid.

How would you like me to burgle your house and give you your medicine next time you check into the GP surgery or hospital?

Jul 07 2008 01:45

A large number of you people actually make me feel sick. Your self-satisfied griping should make you ashamed of yourselves. Are you that smug with your achievements and your own past that you genuinely feel qualified to sit in judgement of a person who whatever the circumstances appears to have only made one obvious mistake?

I really don't understand you idiots. On the one hand you complain about all of these people who do "mickey mouse" courses in the hope that it will improve their career prospects. You bitch and moan about people in difficult circumstances that should 'bootstrap' themselves into better situations, and yet when faced with one person who attempts to do exactly that, you advocate stamping on his fingers as vigorously as possible.

How dare someone make any mistakes in their lives? We should just hang every single person that transgresses any law whatsoever, that way we won't have to suffer them attempting to redeem themselves and think that they might have the right to join our precious, precious "intellectual elite."

Before any of you insufferable imbeciles presents me with the above question, I shall answer for you.

I don't care if he treats me as a doctor. Doctors are not infallible, they are not gods, and they are not even that bright in general (I know enough medics to know these things to be true).

I do not suffer from the idiotic illusion that every person of value has led a blameless and faultless life. To paraphrase a book and an ideology that some hold in high esteem:

Let he who is without sin cast the first f**king stone.

Now how many of you bastards on your oh-so-high horses are without sin? I don't expect any of this to change any of your small minds, but I just graduated. This ridiculous and petty attitude has plagued me since the moment I set foot in this festeringly smug institution.

49. Flower   
Jul 07 2008 11:10

I don't want to stoke this too much, and I'm not sure how much further this discussion can go before it gets into the grounds of an [ internet based slagging match] but,

As I understand it doctors are infallible, since when they cease to be infallible, [ they cease to be doctors] - unless they get accept a fixed penatly notice from a motoring offence, or get let off.

That's the logic behind my posts.

I would welcome this gentleman to any other course at Imperial.

I'm sure college would - it would be great publicity.

As such can I please be excluded from the "self-satisfied griping smug bitching moaning insufferable imbecilc idiotic smug small-minded bastards"?

[quoting from post above].

There are many people from poor background at Imperial, though small as they may be comparing to other institutions. I don't think people are actively discouraging people from poor background to come to Imperial, nor do I think anyone should be actively encouraging criminals to come study either.

I think many people feel sympathetic for that kid, but to say his conviction is spent and the event should no longer be a consideration in his application to Imperial or to his moral standing is misleading. There are plenty of young people from the poor background, who have not set a foot as wrong as Majid Ahmed. In your argument, one could see an active encouragement for people to do wrong, as young as possible and behave for 3 years and start afresh from the age of 18. Are you simply no discouraging those who truly want to transform their life by doing the "right thing"?

My final remark would be, would you trust him to be your bank manager? Would you trust a murder to fly plane? And would you trust a spend paedophiles to look after the old?

51. t**ts   
Jul 07 2008 22:28

@ 48. Disgusted of Tunbridge-Wells:

I'm glad to see at least some people at Imperial are living in the real world. Shame I only actually met about three of them during my time here. I should buy you a beer.

@ Post 50:

My final remark would be, paedophiles like children - so why couldn't they look after old people? Also, why couldn't a murderer fly a plane? Incase he killed everyone on board?

Jul 07 2008 23:57

"How would you like me to burgle your house and give you your medicine next time you check into the GP surgery or hospital?"

Wahey, that's a Daily Mail headline if I ever saw one.

53. Justin   
Jul 07 2008 23:58
  1. 48 - and who's the one on his high horse eh? Sooo much better than these people at Imperial. So humble and un-smug and real....So completely unjudgmental.

Since you quote from the Bible - I seem to recall another one about the plank in your own eye first...

Jul 08 2008 00:01

Also, Disgusted of Tunbridge-Wells, nicely said when I lack the clarity to say it.

I apologise for saying B and E earlier instead of burglary, I got them mixed up in my stupid head. I was merely pointing out the principle of diminished responsibility anyway. I think the crime is not the issue but again the fact that it was spent and therefore not on his record.

Jul 08 2008 00:55

I think that the Medicine admissions department at Imperial were well within their rights to remove the offer and conducted themselves appropiately.

The UCAS website clearly states that if applying to MEDICINE, you must list spent convictions; which the applicant did not.

He was re-interviewed (i.e. given a second chance!) and the subsequent decision was made.

There are many people who don't get offered a place at the first attempt but don't cry foul play. How many people applied to Oxbridge and didn't get in here at Imperial.

Failure and rejection makes some people more determined to succeed (it definately made me), and I bloody hope he does succeed. Or of course he could throw his toys out of the pram and tell a newspaper.

Life (unfortunately) isn't fair. Just ask the people he burgled!

Jul 08 2008 01:01

You can discuss as many hypothetical situations as you want. Each of your examples is different and there is not enough information in them to describe such a grey area.

However... these petty arguments (Flower, you forgot petty) all boil down to the same thing.

Either you believe in rehabilitation, in redemption, in stupid mistakes and idiotic youth; or you don't and are perfect.

In this case, before this man is allowed to touch any patient as a qualified doctor, he will have spent 9 years as an exemplar student. He has already spent 3 of these doing so, over the most important formative years of his life.

You collectively, as an institution, seem to believe that one stupid action at the age of 15 (which our own legal system believes is too young to be FULLY responsible as an adult) is enough to write off the rest of his life, his hopes, and his dream.

That is how simple this is. You can pick holes in his subsequent actions all you want, second guess his actions, and use your hindsight and privilege to judge his methods; but this is about that first action.

The law sates that his conviction is Spent, but Imperial disagrees.

These "future leaders" generated by IC (as Sykes loved to say) certainly help me understand why society is so f**ked up. I wish I was perfect like they are.

57. Justin   
Jul 08 2008 01:16

Imperial's role is about redemption though.

It's about producing the brightest works, the most innovative concepts, the most sound scientific theories.

Admissions to Imperial is about selecting candidates who would benefit most from an Imperial education, and contribute most to scientific life.

It's not about helping rehabilitate young offenders. That's not the institution's problem.

Imperial is in the business of proper engineering NOT social engineering.

58. Flower   
Jul 08 2008 10:32

Disgusted - you're saying that everyone should be given a second chance, that we should overlook errors made several or more years ago?

You say that Imperial doesn't agree with this?

I find that troublesome - I credit you with massive intelligence, yet my understanding is that Imperial applied the rules and procedures laid out by the GMC.

These are the fundamentals behind it. Imperial's hands are tied.

I don't understand why you are angry with Imperial, surely you should take your grudge to the GMC.

Could you please explain?

59. Jon   
Jul 08 2008 10:58

"The law sates that his conviction is Spent, but Imperial disagrees"

I thought it was UCAS (I don't actually know, maybe a medic can tell us?) that says spent convictions must be revealed? If this is the case then he either lied on his application form or didn't read it properly. Both mean that he shouldn't have been offered a place.

If he didn't have to reveal the conviction then Imperial are in the wrong are shouldn't have withdrawn the offer.

60. me   
Jul 08 2008 11:36

It seems most people are missing the point. Some professions carry with them a greater degree of responsibility than others. The powers that be have decided that someone showing such bad judgement, and inability to resist peer pressure should not be given that responsibility.

I don't think we're talking about responsibility for people's well-being here - there's a lot more involved in being a doctor than that. An example that springs to mind is access to prescription drugs. That's not to suggest he would be more likely to use them himself, but what if someone put him under pressure to be a supplier? His record doesn't support the argument that he'd resist that pressure.

For all the talk of redemption, past performance is still the best predictor of future results, and the Imperial (under the guidelines of the GMC) have decided that his bad judgement should count against him. Given the range of things that can count against you in gaining a place in medicine, this seems like a pretty uncontroversial decision.

Having said that, anyone denying his achievement, or blaming him for being upset, is being unfair. But unfortunately, stupid actions have consequences, even when you're only 16.

Jul 08 2008 12:34

But ultimately, people can learn from their mistakes. Young people tend to make lots of mistakes, because they don't have that much experience to draw on. This guy now seems to have the experience.

And I don't believe missing the bit on the UCAS application where it says you must reveal spent convictions is a good enough reason not to be let in. While I'm sure most of you have lived perfect lives, never put a foot wrong, and read every single term and condition, and understood what a 'spent' conviction was at 18, not everyone does.

"Disgusted of Tunbridge-Wells" said quite a few things I agree with - you can stay on your high horses if you can honestly say you've never made any mistakes.

62. sporty   
Jul 08 2008 13:08


There are a lot of Imperial fanboys here. It's pretty prevalent in that sort of community that they will leap to the defence of their institution, rather than an 'outsider'.

For what it's worth, I don't think it was the right decision for the candidate to go to the Grauniad and moan about Imperial; as others have stated, Imperial's decision was consistent with the GMC and with other institutions.

I also think that the whole area of 'spent' convictions needs to be addressed; spent convictions are next to worthless nowadays if you plan to travel to the US, or if you require an enhanced CRB check for a position.

There were questions raised last week around ECRBs; if I recall correctly, a headteacher who had falsely been accused of sexual assault by a child (allegation later withdrawn or dismissed) was rejected from a different position because that allegation was present on his ECRB check.

Jul 08 2008 15:26

Yes Ashley, young people do make mistakes.

I made the mistake of really hurting my knee while showing off and thus ended my chances of being a professional footballer.

He made the mistake of burgling someone's house and thus ended his chances of being a doctor.

I agree that most people have been unduly harsh, but I think other people's mistakes are irrelevant here - not many will have made such a serious error of judgment. Whether you agree or not, you can't deny that the Imperial (/GMC) decision that he isn't fit to practice medicine is at least not completely unreasonable.

I'm sure you're right that most people don't understand what a 'spent' conviction is at 18, but I expect almost everyone with a criminal record both knows when it's spent, and also knows they have to read the terms and conditions relating to criminal convictions!

Jul 08 2008 15:32

The GMC have made no such decision. People here seem to be equating mistakenly ending up in someone elses house and admitting it, to breaking in, ransacking the place and tieing up the occupants. They aren't the same, which is why the sentences are different. The fact his sentence was a 4 month community order and NOT time in a young offenders institution indicates that the court believed what he was saying.

If a friend asks me to hold their bag, then the police do a random stop-and-search and it turns out there's a knife in the bag, should my career be over? Should I go to jail? Technically, I'm guilty of carrying an offensive weapon, but it would be stupid to suggest I should be banged up and never be allowed to work near anyone vulnerable.

Imperial could have sent him to a non-medical course to at least give him a chance. He'd learnt his lesson, he doesn't need to learn it again.

Jul 08 2008 15:51

A girl at my school was unable to study medicine as she had been anorexic and was not deemed emotionally suitable for the course, what makes him any better suited than her?

Ashley - I can see your point about putting him on another course but does he actually want to do another course and would it be fair on the others doing that course if he was there and not enthusiastic about it?

66. victim   
Jul 08 2008 16:27

Majid should seek legal advise asap from an education specialist solicitors!! I am able to give him the name of such peple that may be able to help/advise him if required

Jul 08 2008 17:07

"mistakenly ending up in someone elses house" - if that's what happened he would have plead not guilty to burglary. At most that would be trespass.

A quick wikipedia search tells us that:

Burglary is defined by section 9 of the Theft Act 1968 which created two variants:

?A person is guilty of burglary if he enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser with intent to steal, inflict grievous bodily harm [or raping any person therein], or do unlawful damage to the building or anything in it.(section 9(1)(a))?

?A person is guilty of burglary if, having entered a building or part of a building as a trespasser, he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building, or inflicts or attempts to inflict grievous bodily harm on any person in the building.(section 9(1)(b))"

The key factor here is INTENT.

Incidently, I think that the fact that his version of events doesn't correlate with the offence committed was probably one of the factors leading to his unsuccessful appeal - he obviously doesn't accept either the responsibility or the consequences of his actions.

Not that I blame him, I imagine in the same position I would also adopt an "it wasn't my fault" approach. Just because his attitude is understandable, doesn't mean that it shouldn't be taken into account when deciding on his fitness to practice.

Jul 08 2008 17:17

No Majid should, victim, f**k of and stop bothering Imperia College. The academics have had enough of him, we have had enough of him. He has had his 15 minutes of fame and if he honestly believes that he will get a place now he is very much mistaken.

Jul 09 2008 09:24

"if he honestly believes that he will get a place now he is very much mistaken." - Unfortunately some medical school will also want their 15 minutes of fame and will probably offer him a place (if the GMC allows it) for the good press.

Jul 09 2008 12:32

Too often in court young people come in and are asked how to plead and they say something like: "I've been advised to plead guilty", or "I didn't do it, but I'm going to plead guilty", or they plead guilty at some point mid-proceedings, perhaps when the prosecution case is looking weak and they prosecutors are prepared to do a deal and get the defendant to plead guilty to something very minor. Previous posters on this thread have said they would not plead guilty to something they didn't do; but if the options before you are the certainty of a small fine or the possibility - if the magistrates or jury get it wrong - of prison you might well take the small fine. Those advising youngsters are probably not thinking about how to keep their record clean so as to enable them to enter positions of responsibility in the future, but aiming at keeping them out of prison.

We need to improve our justice system so that those who are innocent have enough confidence in it to defend their innocence. If you want to make a good-faith defence you should be free to do so without the prospect of a much tougher sentence if despite your defense you are then found guilty. Mr Ahmed should have had the confidence to put his version of what happened to the magistrates without fear of being further punished for doing so.

Mr Ahmed was sentenced to a "Referral Order", we don't know what was said by the presiding magistrate in court, or what information was given to him immediately afterwards, but a strongly emphasised element of a "Referral Order" is that it is considered spent as soon as it has been completed; it is possible that at court, and at subsequent meetings this was heavily stressed and he was left with the impression that once he had completed his order he could put the episode behind him.

For example see Kensington and Chelsea's answer to the question: "Will you have a criminal record?" in respect of a "referral order":

"If you complete your ?agreement? then your conviction will become ?spent?. Spent means that you do not have to tell anyone about it, and most people will have no right to know about it (the only exception is if you are applying for certain jobs ? for example. working with children). The Referral order is the only court order that will not be recorded as a criminal conviction."


We have a ridiculous situation in this country now where even a wrongful arrest can blight your life: you can't have visa free travel to the USA and end up with your DNA on the national database forever. Even a simple encounter with the police with an officer asking you what you're up to results in a formal, permanent entry on an intelligence database. I strongly agree with "sporty" in comment 62, we need to review this whole concept of "spent", we need to allow people the opportunity to reform, if the path to reform isn't accessible then more criminals will remain criminals.

I think Imperial's second interview panel was the right way to deal with this, assuming of course they had the full facts.

71. si   
Jul 09 2008 14:21

I entirely believe that Imperial have acted in a fair and just way. When considering applicants many factors come into effect, especially in medicine, the two foremost being academic ability and employability, less factors will be those such as extra-curicula activities as well as how the candidate presents themselves at interview.

Imperial went above what was required (giving Mr Ahmed a second interview) as they could have rejected him outright for failing to correctly provide the required information, but they did not.

However at this second interview they would not only be considering whether he was reformed, but also his potential to practice medicine, in light of his conviction. Many reasons may have led the panel to reject this candidate, it may evenhave come down to a case of do we like him or not, which given the way Mr Ahmed has accounted for himself I do not find surprising.

Put simply, if we assume that Mr Ahmed did not willfully withhold the information, we have a case where an applicant has failed to correctly fill out his application form with the relevant information, been then given a second chance to correctly apply, then been rejected on the basis of this applicantion and interview.

72. hmmm   
Jul 09 2008 14:50

Just been thinking about Mr Ahmeds version of events he was invited to his mates "chill out pad", did he think they owned/rented it!

how old where these mates!

I believe he did not know he was committing buglary but ignorance is not the same as innocence, just as a shopkeeper that serves a child cigerettes not knowing that they were underage is still guilty of the offence.

again he may not have known that he needed to declare the conviction, but the information was there, its not some conspiracy, he failed to read the form properly.

If it truely was his desire to study medicine, specifcally at Imperial then perhaps after his secnond interview, and rejection, he should have spoken (politely) with the tutors and asked them what he should do to increase his chance of successful application, or spoken to the GMC to estabilsh what to do to prove fitness to practice in light of the conviction.

Jul 10 2008 10:18

IF anyone wants a laugh please look at Carole Malones column in last Sunday?s news of the world, where she repeatedly refers to college as "bigoted dimwits". Communications department must be going mad.

Jul 10 2008 12:29

It's "bigoted halfwits" actually ;-)

Also "fools", "idiots", "do gooders", "nobs" .... !

Jul 12 2008 00:31

What nearly everyone on this forum seems to think of this guy:

"Deer Sir/Maddem,

I reqkwire a degree in medasin but i kep killin peeps - i promiss i wont do it agen 4 da nex 5 minits. Can u help a fella art? If not, Iz STABZ U UP U FUKIN S**THOLE!



I don't blame you for thinking this way, I'm sure the panel of cobweb-ridden, Telegraph-reading and hoody-hating bigots at the School of Medicine were the same.

Man, it feels good to be flippant.

Jul 12 2008 11:09

Does it also feel good to be wrong?

Jul 12 2008 22:34

I just think it's ridiculous that he claims to have 'accidently' ended up in someone else's house. Unless he was blindfolded and on rohypnol, how the hell could he not see his friends picking the locks/smashing a pane of glass etc (or however you break into houses)

and what person in their right mind would not walk away at this point?

he clearly has something fundamentally wrong with his morals and deserves to have lost any chances at a position of responsibility and trust!

Jul 13 2008 18:58

If this guy thought what he did had a genuine innocent explanation, then a not guilty plea means he can explain to the court the circumstances and a jury will convict him. The fact that there?s a prima facie case doesn?t make someone immediately guilty. He should have pleaded not guilty. Any medical student is warned to never take a caution without legal advice, so he should have thought on.

As for the rest of us that have spent years not "accidentally" finding ourselves in other people?s houses, it?s a bit unfair to let someone else off the hook after we?ve kept our noses clean.

And I think the person who mentioned earlier that Imperial have done this guy a favour by not letting him spend 6 years (+ tuition fees) only to have the GMC turn him away at the end of it all hit the nail on the head. I suggest some of you read the GMC guidance for medical students, available at the link below, in order to see that a "theft" conviction is a reason to be considered unfit to practise.

I don?t hear anyone slagging the GMC off for doing too much to protect patients, funnily enough. So what?s different here?

GMC guidance on "Fitness to practise for medical students"

79. asdd   
Jul 13 2008 19:00

"Even a simple encounter with the police with an officer asking you what you're up to results in a formal, permanent entry on an intelligence database."

This is not true. In this case you are not required to give your details to a police officer unless you are suspected of an offence or believed to be involved in anti-social behaviour.

If you do, they are recorded on the intelligence system however to suggest this will have any effect on the person in question is completley wrong. The records are kept mainly for monitoring and legal purposes (a record of a stop and account or stop and search has to be kept for at least a year in case you want a copy). They will not show up on any CRB checks.

Jul 13 2008 22:22

>"Even a simple encounter with the police with an officer

>asking you what you're up to results in a formal,

>permanent entry on an intelligence database."

>This is not true. In this case you are not required to give

>your details to a police officer unless you are suspected

>of an offence or believed to be involved in anti-social


I agree, in theory it it not the case, but in practice it almost always is. The law requires the officer to ask for your name and address (even though you are not required to give it) - if you refuse the next question in my experience is likely to be "why don't you want to give me your name", the person being stopped, unless they are very confident they know the law better than the officer apparantly demanding their name and address, will as I claimed end up with a permanent record on a police intelligence database.

The paper record is kept for a year incase you want a copy, the electronic record will be kept much longer. Some forces ignore the law completely and don't record stops at all.

You are right that these stops don't show up on CRB checks, and ought have no effect on the person in question; again though in practice I believe they do.

81. asdd   
Jul 13 2008 22:59

How in practice an they effect someone when they don't show up on CRB checks?

Jul 14 2008 10:24

The CRB and police intelligence are completely separate entities, with no dialogue between the two. The CRB gets it?s information from the Criminal Records Office, which deals primarily with the courts and youth justice systems. It does not have access to day to day police intelligence (most of which is restricted anyway). So there is no effect on the person. The same occurs if a child is reported missing; a "formal entry" is entered onto a police database, but that doesn?t have any effect on a person?s life thereafter.

As for not giving a name and address, well, a responsibile citizen has a duty to know the basic laws and rights they are afforded. It is not the duty of the police to go around telling people these rights (obviously excluding when telling people is set down in legislation, ie Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984)- they are not laywers. If you don?t want to give your name in Stop and Search, you have that right, so be prepared to use it instead of whining about their apparent infringements on an internet message board. The same goes for Data Protection.

Jul 14 2008 12:20

>As for not giving a name and address, well, a responsible

>citizen has a duty to know the basic laws and rights they >are afforded. It is not the duty of the police to go >around telling people these rights

I agree up to a point, but am concerned we then end up with one system for the informed intelligentsia and another one for everyone else.

During a stop the police are required by the PACE codes to ask you your name and address - would it be too much to ask for them to then add: "but you don't have to give it to me if you don't want to", and to prohibit the police from asking you "Why" if you decline? Without this, in my opinion using the right to decline becomes difficult.

There are suggestions above, and in the linked articles, that had Majid Ahmed been better informed, or had better legal advice then the outcome might have been different, I think that's an undesirable state of affairs.

>How in practice an they effect someone when

>they don't show up on CRB checks?

Through less formal means, for example if two people are stopped by the police scuffling on the street; and one turns out to have been stopped many times and the other doesn't have any police record the police officer might form an opinion in his mind of who the instigator/aggressor was on the basis of one individual's prior encounters with the police, this might influence what happens next.

84. asdd   
Jul 14 2008 21:36

I don't think there is anything in PACE requiring the police to ask your name and address.

Jul 15 2008 01:24

We're getting off topic here, but in respect of a stop and search, in PACE code A, section 4.2 we have:

"The officer must ask for the name, address and date of birth of the person searched, but there is no obligation on a person to provide these details and no power of detention if the person is unwilling to do so."

There is no such requirement in an encounter, but the form has to be completed, and the form contains the "name" field so not asking for it is a bit tricky in practise.

Jul 15 2008 11:29

Most police officers complete the forms at the station, not at the time of the search as they?re supposed to- so it would be quite easy for them to just put "refused" in the name section. And a lot of people that are in a hurry are quite happy to go along within a year to pick up a form if it saves them time there and then. That?s the spin the police put on it anyway.

As for dividing an intelligensia; I assume you have seen the PACE codes by your knowledge of them- the book is huge. The police have enough trouble dealing with all the paperwork and abiding by all the codes, however necessary it all is, without having to pander around people because they might possibly form an opinion of someone they regularly encounter. I don?t even buy this point, as it goes- I know someone who has been stopped four times in the last month at Victoria Train station under a section 44 Terrorism Act Search (he is white and middle class, before any allegations of profiling leap up) but I sincerely doubt that any future police encounter with him will immediately cause them to think "Terrorist". As for your example about people in a scuffle, even if that scenario did exist, it?s not really relevant in Ahmed?s case. Also, it?s worth noting that in practise most people who refuse to give a name and address normally do have something to hide, so I?d much rather the police poke a little deeper to find criminality at the cost of a nondescript record on some file somewhere with no real life bearing, than ask no-one anything and let criminals escape.

The citizens have a right to be treated in compliance with the law. If the police are doing that, there is no problem. As far as I can see here, they did everything legally, and he got caught. Bad luck.

But getting back on point: Ahmed should have known, even without basic legal knowledge, going into a house that he didn?t 100% know was his friend?s could have been dangerous and illegal, especially if he so desperately wanted to be a doctor as he claims. That seems to me like lacking careful judgement, at best. As for better legal advice, that?s his fault for not choosing a competent lawyer, not the police, Imperial College?s or anyone else?s fault.

Aug 08 2008 13:09

So, if you're ever turned down for a place at Manchester, just go crying to the press:

Aug 10 2008 17:02

"It was a very minor offence. I'm not a career criminal. I was a young lad and I have learnt my lesson." I hope he doesn't repeat that quote in front of the GMC if he is caught with a medical misconduct.

Aug 14 2008 12:49

I think that Ahmed should have been allowed to do the first year-with the condition that he obtained high marks. This would be the best test of his ability and commitment to study medicine at Imperial.

Many medics take illegal drugs and partake in debauched behaviour not becoming of a potential doctor, yet no one seems to bat and eyelid, because once you're in all you have to do is pass exams.

Who knows, Ahmed could become an exceptional doctor and then Imperial would go from hating him, to putting him on the front cover of the prospectus!

This is a fickle game

Aug 23 2008 12:26


91. ffs   
Aug 23 2008 20:33

He will never be a doctor EVER.. PERIOD - - - 6 years of medical school and then the GMC tell him to f**k off

Nov 30 2008 15:12

i wish to study in your school but i m looking for your form on net but i couldnt find it

Nov 30 2008 21:13

well, you are on the right webpage. Search again.

94. Mani   
Nov 15 2009 14:48

Its amazing some of you indigenous dim twits seem to forget the UK government are the ones who should be CRB checked going back more than five hundred years committing crimes beyond belief, all Humans have the right to live in peace and dignity. Here is ONE of many enhanced CRB check for the United Kingdom.

UK invaded, raped, pillaged countries all over the world with the so called British Empire, and with independence coming of age left Indian, Pakistani people to the slaughter houses of divide and rule.(These are the scares left in the minds and thoughts of elderly people who are old and still living, who are from India and Pakistan). In 1947 India divided and Pakistan created, bloody trains of death running to their partitioned countries, women raped, killed and children killed as they travelled to their enforced stay, arriving at stations with the stench smell of death, silence, because no one survived on these trains either in India or Pakistan with fires burning inside the cabins.

Shame on the bureaucratic c**p law making UK idiots taking judgement on a person I assume Majid Ahmed who is of Asian origin and possibly Muslim faith wants to study in medicine and help people get well. Imperial College had the CRB checks done, fair enough a criminal conviction came to light. Ahmed explained the details of his conviction, this does not mean right now he is a danger to the public. Ahmed did not harm a vulnerable person either a child or a adult.

Sep 11 attack was attack on USA not UK, so what happens UK goes to invade yet again another middle eastern and Afghanistan countries killing thousands of innocent victims and their own young soldiers in the process. One rule for the UK government and another for a young person, who just wants to study in medicine, becomes a Doctor to help people. NOT to go dropping bombs on the innocent.

Too many institutions in the UK will continue to have hidden agendas for all kinds of different people from different backgrounds of varying circumstances and reasons for their own greed and satisfaction.

THE CRB checks and the petty of a non violent nature conviction should not create discriminatory thinking inside a persons head making a judgement on a future medical student who wants to enrol on a course and wants to contribute to life changing, caring attitudes to fellow humans.

95. @94   
Nov 15 2009 16:22

oh for gods sake

96. @94   
Nov 16 2009 11:40


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