12 Jun 2017

Man applies to change plea in forgery case

2:31 pm on 12 June 2017

A man who pleaded guilty to working as a psychiatrist using false qualifications has had his sentencing adjourned as he seeks to change his plea.

Mohamed Siddiqui at a previous appearance.

Mohamed Siddiqui at a previous appearance. Photo: Pool / Alan Gibson

Mohamed Siddiqui, 56, worked for Waikato District Health Board at its Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre in 2015.

He was first arrested in July 2015 and has been in custody since December of that year when he was apprehended trying to leave the country.

Siddiqui faces four forgery and deception charges which he pleaded guilty to in March this year, just before his trial was to begin.

Siddiqui worked as a psychiatrist at the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre for six months after using forged documents with details of qualifications of a United States psychiatrist with the same surname.

At sentencing in Hamilton District Court today, after it was delayed from April, his lawyer told the court his client now wanted to apply to the court to vacate his guilty plea.

A hearing will be held in August to see if this will be possible.

Siddiqui has been in custody since December 2015.

He has had four lawyers so far and will now have to find another one after his current lawyer, Thomas Sutcliffe, indicated he would seek to withdraw at Siddiqui's next court appearance.

The reasons for his bid to change his plea were heard in closed court and cannot be reported.

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