Saumtally, who was praised for his work serving on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic, was said to have shown “absurd obsessive behaviour” and acted out of jealousy
A jealous doctor who crafted fake texts and manufactured screenshots in a bid to sabotage his flatmate’s relationships has been jailed.
Javed Saumtally, a 28-year-old doctor, spun the web of lies as part of an elaborate scheme to trick his flatmate, fuelled by an “unhealthy obsession” for the man, a court heard.
Saumtally, who was praised for his work serving on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic, was said to have shown “absurd obsessive behaviour” and acted out of jealousy.
The Ipswich, Suffolk local appeared at Brighton Crown Court on Monday wearing a black suit and pink shirt after being convicted at trial of perverting the course of justice.
Judge Jeremy Gold QC repeatedly remarked that it was a “tragedy” that a doctor such as Saumtally should carry out such serious offending and end up in court.
Saumtally has now been jailed for 15 months
The court heard of how he and the flatmate had been in a relationship when they lived in Brighton, East Sussex, before moving separately to Ipswich where they shared a flat.
The campaign of lies saw one of his flatmate’s ex-partners undergo an intense period of police investigation, over which he spent nearly 15 hours in custody before waiting 56 days for the police to return his devices.
His name was eventually cleared, and the man then had to fight to overturn a decision not to prosecute Saumtally – tenacity commended by the judge.
Facing the doctor in court on Monday, the man said the false accusations he faced were “life-changing”.
“It was deeply hurtful to have our time together ruined in such a bitter way,” he added, referring to Saumtally’s flatmate.
He said the time he spent waiting for the police to return his devices “felt like Covid isolation”.
He added: “It’s so important for me to get justice and find out why such deceitful lies were told to me.”
During the trial, prosecutor Jonathan Atkinson said the defendant set about “sending abusive and derogatory messages from unknown numbers” to his flatmate but also to himself, “no doubt to make it look like he was also a victim and to deflect attention away from him”.
He told jurors the various lies were part of a “concerted ploy by Mr Saumtally to deliberately undermine the relationships of his flatmate … to (make him) feel under threat and harassed as a result, all the while pretending to act as an understanding friend and companion”.
“He was devious, he was determined and technologically adept.”
“No-one else stood to gain, he had the motive, he had the means throughout these incidents.
“He created false exhibits and he lied to the police.”
Saumtally even went as far as inventing a police officer as part of his web of deception, the trial heard.
Defence barrister Janet Weeks said Saumtally has now expressed remorse and has accepted responsibility.
She described his actions as “absurd obsessive behaviour” but cited his “truly exemplary conduct outside his offending”.
Ms Weeks called on Judge Gold to suspend any prison sentence, pointing to Saumtally’s young age and health issues.
Sentencing him, Judge Gold recognised he was a “highly able young man” and a qualified doctor.
He added: “It’s a tragedy that I should have to deal with you for such a serious offence as perverting the course of justice.”
Judge Gold said the defendant had “developed an unhealthy obsession” with his flatmate and took “extraordinary steps”.