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Pharmacist struck off for sexually assaulting EHC patient

The GPhC heard Mr Popley, 2083383, is of "previous good character" but abused a position of trust

Satwant Singh Popley, registration number 2083383, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old female patient so she could have the morning-after pill for free

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has struck off a pharmacist after he was sentenced to eight months in prison for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old patient in exchange for a free supply of the morning-after pill.

Satwant Singh Popley, registration number 2083383, admitted to touching and licking the breasts of the patient, who visited the Lloydspharmacy in Teddington Hospital in July 2014.

Mr Popley’s lawyer told the GPhC's fitness-to-practise committee that he “was a man of good character” who was unlikely to repeat his “10 minutes of madness”, in a hearing on May 23, 2016. 

But the regulator found that the conviction had impaired his fitness to practise, and ruled that it was “proportionate and appropriate” to remove Mr Popley from the register.

Lacked social skills

Mr Popley was 26 at the time of the crime and “lived an isolated life and lacked social skills”, according to a pre-sentence report.

The GPhC heard that in his plea to Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court in August 2015, Mr Popley said the patient in question did not have the money for a contraceptive pill. In the pharmacy's consultation room, the patient asked if Mr Popley wanted to see her breasts, and he described his subsequent behaviour as "impulsive" and "inappropriate", the regulator heard.

After he had touched and licked the girl’s breasts, he gave her money to pay for the pill at the counter, the GPhC heard.

Mr Popley initially denied the offence, but pleaded guilty several months later after DNA testing showed that his DNA had been found on the inside of the victim’s clothes. 

"Sexually imature"

In a statement to the fitness-to-practise committee, Mr Popley described himself as “sexually immature and naïve”, in part due to his religious Sikh upbringing and an “unusual family dynamic”.

Mr Popley was not present at the hearing, but was represented by his lawyer, who described the registrant's conduct as “egregious”.

pointed out that whilst in prison Mr Popley had made several attempts to access psychotherapy for sex offenders, and professional support to aid his rehabilitation. However his risk of reoffending had been assessed as too low to qualify for these services.

Character referees stated Popley had never been in an adult relationship, but was of “excellent moral character,” and they “considered him to be professional, hard-working and honest, respectful and reliable”.

Issue of public trust

His lawyer said Mr Popley had made a “grave mistake” and abused a position of trust. She admitted that “there was no positive case that could be made that fitness to practise in this case was not impaired”.

The committee noted the supportive testimonials, but also that he had initially denied the allegations, accused the patient of fabrication, and “sought to deflect the accusation or to conceal his actions”. It stressed that the alleged facts of the conviction had since been admitted. 

The committee concluded that Mr Popley’s fitness to practise had been impaired as a result and ruled to strike him from the register.

Read the full determination here


What do you make of the ruling?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information



rx pharmahub, Pharmacy

we have been providing sexual medicnes for men and women since more than 15 years


Interleukin -2, Community pharmacist

I condemn this incident ....I felt ashamed that a fellow pharmacist could do such a disgusting thing....But I cant help but wonder how the time of 8 minutes was determined ie the duration of time the bloke gratified his sexual instincts in mmmh yes ! the consultation room!?

Monu Aggarwal, Locum pharmacist

Clearly the pharmacist had psycholgical problems...he needs help... no one in their right mind would contemplate such actions!

InSpectre Inspector, Senior Management

Regardless of what happened in this particular case, how can ANYONE think it's ok to engage in sexual conduct of any sort during working hours. That alone means this pharmacist is not fit to practice. Appalling behaviour from a healthcare professional.

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

im not defending this mans actions merely looking at the situation as a whole 




A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

Hi Ben , I'm referring to some pharmacists who regularly post on this site condemning the actions of others but have done or are doing exactly the same or similar actions  themselves , they know who they are 




Ben E, Production & Technical

Hi, thanks for responding. I understand now it sounds like an inside thing that I'm not in on. Thanks again.

Navid Kaleem, Superintendent Pharmacist

EHC should be available FREE of Charge in all areas.

Mueid Kaleem, Locum pharmacist


A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

its amazing how many pharmacists are "two faced", standing up in public making out they are so so squeeky clean , whiter than white, condeming everyone around them for things they have done yet are doing themselves, may be not sexual , but certainly business and professional wise, so conviction in a court could be for a lot more pharmacists ? Its only pure luck how some pharmacists have got away with their actions for so long , helps if you have friends in high places and are a good lier 

Ben E, Production & Technical

Care to ellaborate on the conduct of these "whiter than white" pharmacists? Sorry to sound passive-aggressive but I don't really understand what you're getting at.

Tony Schofield, Community pharmacist

I don't care about his upbringing or his sexual naivety. It's irrelevant. He is a regulated health professional and knows what is expected of him. He is not fit to practice and so he's struck off. How anyone could even attempt to spin this and put any blame on the victim is incredible.

Cathy Cooke, Hospital pharmacist

I'm concerned by some of the comments of pharmacists in this thread.  It doesn't matter how the woman may or may not have behaved or expected during the encounter. A pharmacist is in a position of trust and must behave to the required standard whatever the situation. Any pharmacist's behaviour impacts on the credibility of the whole profession and a core element of being fit to practice is understanding what constitutes appropriate professional behaviour.

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

At last someone who talks sense - HE SHOULD NOT HAVE DONE WHAT HE DID, end of, regardless of what the girl did. He got what he deserved.

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

Very disturbing

Anthony Cox, Academic pharmacist

Clear breach of his duty of care, and it is circumstances like these when you find out the real measure of people. How can any future patient be re-assured if an incident like this happens, and the above text makes clear that the defendent had attempted to conceal the truth.

Worth remembering that the GPhC were criticised for being too lenient in the past with regard to issues related to child safety.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Men think with their John Thomas mostly, but for goodness sake this was a bit depraved to exploit a vulnerable female teenager and not sign post her in the right direction. I always argue keep your hands to yourself and so on..........

A Hussain, Senior Management

If he had an SOP and consent form in place he would probably be let off, knowing what our leaders think is most important.

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

Well, we already have a pharmacist on here(A LOCUM) in full support of the actions of the guilty pharmacist whilst heaping blame on the 17 year old girl. A view which I'm sure really shows the 'profession' in a brilliant light.

Ben E, Production & Technical

unfortunately, the thumbs up and down percentages underneath the comments says just as much if not more...

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

another 'adam johnson' type incident , she knew what she was doing ,  its the male who is punished , she is the victim , thats justice , its amazing just how many WOMEN slated the youngster in adam johnsons case , i know the male has responsibility and liabilitity but it takes two to tango , young girls  should not flirt with older men who should know better of course , but moments of maddnes do occur , hear many cases of older women and young boys in press , now 2 men have to endure all the consequences, lost their jobs , their freedom , their pride, even thier family and friends, hope the victims realise their part played .

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

Are you fucking high, son?

Helen Pinney, Pharmacy technician

This is a disgusting attitude. Flirting does not excuse sexual assault. "Moments of madness" sounds like rape apologist, victim blaming language to me.

Paul Miyagi, Information Technology

i think you need help saying "she knew what she was doing". She was probably frightened and never been in the situation before.  You should be asking why he was a community pharmacist if he did not have social skills!!  There are too many in community pharmacy who are lacking proper social skills.  

N C, Community pharmacist

No sorry, I can't agree! This is not a man vs woman issue! GPhC and code of ethics could not be clearer on this issue, even if this guy was 'sexually naive', presumably he knows our rules as a pharmacist and willfully ignored them!!!...position of power, unethical, immoral, manipulative etc.

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

You're totally wrong. In the other case you refer to the girl in question was 15 and below the age of consent. I wonder what your thoughts would be if it was your 15 year old daughter? So your comparison is completey absurd.

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

i brought up my daughters not to engage or to flirt with older men or accept gifts or drinks  but theres  plenty of teenagers who do , do u  live in the real world ?

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

I think your fitness to practice needs to be called into question if you support this chap who has been convicted of sexual assault in a court of law after pleading guilty. Good luck to you.

Amal England, Public Relations

I think you are taking A Locum's words and twisting them to fill what you want to believe or what you like to hear. A Locum clearly says the man is responsible and should be punished. But a certain degree of culpability rests on the girl. Satwant is no angel, he is a man and he was led astray- the GPhC has failed to consider this (although I haven't read the full report). There is no justice, only a legal process as defined by...... Man.

Helen Pinney, Pharmacy technician

No culpability rests on the girl. He abused his position of power to sexually assault her.


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