A GP was found guilty for harassment after he posted a fake advertisement about gay sexual services that included the details the builder with which he had fallen out.
Dr Suthan Ulakanathan, 37 years old, posted twice gay escort adverts on a website called Vivastreet that sold sex acts all night and every day’, Croydon Magistrates’ Court heard.
The doctor works at Townhill Medical Practice, Caterham. claimed ex-soldier Steven Hay, 30, was a ‘cowboy’ who ripped him off over a fence job and said he was forced to pay another worker to finish it.
He admitted to placing both ads on the site. Arrest and questioning by police
“At the time, I wanted to wind him down. The doctor dismissed the posts as a prank and felt that he had taken advantage my family.
Adrian Turner, Deputy District Judge, disagreed and convicted Dr Ulakanathan of South Croydon after a trial in which he harassed Mr Hay between September 9th and November 14th last year.
Dr Suthan Ulakanthan shared two posts about his builder on a website called Viva Street that sold sexual favours. He was convicted of harassment.
He told Dr. Ulakanathan that he had thought a lot about how to get his own back. Now, Dr. Ulakanathan is facing a General Medical Council professional misconduct investigation. This was not an abrupt reaction. It was planned, calculated.
The University of London graduate, who is a partner at Downhill Medical Practice, was fined £2,000, with £720 costs and ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.
The trial heard that Dr Ulakanathan added the name, mobile phone number, and address of the builder to the posts.
He added the words “Young 30-year-old male, all kinds welcome, confidentially, if free come and mine will be in all days”, to both advertisements.
Susannah Stevens, Dr Ulakanathan’s lawyer, told the court that there are GMC proceedings and it remains to be seen if he gets a job.
“It has been published in full Technicolor with his photograph. His name has been destroyed. This will be reported to his patients and neighbours.
“It is utterly humiliating. He was punished.
The builder told the court the pair fell out over a fence installation with the doctor only paying £300 of the £600 bill, however the GP claims he and his family were threatened into paying an excessive amount.
Melanie Hardwick, the prosecutor, stated to the court that the defendant had hired Mr Hay, a roofer back in August last year to work on a fence. There was a dispute, and the parties parted ways.
“Mr Hay received a call from someone stating that they had his number from Vivastreet and asked him if he would like to meet up.
The first text arrived as the builder was enjoying a beer in the pub.
He told the trial that they had texted him “hey you”, with a kiss and thought it was an ex-girlfriend.
“They called me, and a man said he found me on Vivastreet.”
Mr Hay said that he received between fifty and sixty calls and texts over the course of three months. He added that his anxiety had caused his PTSD. “I lost sleep, friends, and work because I didn’t know who was doing this and it caused me to lose my job.”
A man appeared at Hay’s house one time in response to the advertisement. He spoke to Hay’s mother and caused Hay to have to rush home.
According to the prosecutor, “One person came to his house and asked for sexual services. That made him anxious at a moment when his mother was at work shielding him,”
The first ad was available for five days, and the second for two days.
Dr Ulakanathan, who was arrested on February 13, told officers that Mr Hay was a cowboy who had failed to finish a fence job for a memorial park dedicated to his father.
The 37-year-old claimed that Steven Hay, 30, an ex-soldier (pictured), raped him over a job on a fence and forced him to pay another worker for it
Ms Hardwick stated that he had accepted the two accounts being set up and didn’t think the first was saved correctly. He then did it again and wanted to delete the accounts but did not know how.
“He claimed that the complainant was a cowboy constructor and that the work needed to be redone.”
Mr Hay admitted that he had messed with him a bit and that he walked away from the job because the doctor refused to pay for additional labour and materials to finish it.
The court heard from the GP that the ads were ‘harmless and a prank’.
“I thought that he would find it funny and irritating. It wasn’t my intention for anyone to come to his home or for him to feel threatened or distressed.
Dr Ulakanathan claimed that his behavior was due to PTSD from the deaths his father Ulaganathan Subramaniam (65) and uncle Sivananthan (66) in quick succession.
He claimed that he was famous for his childish, silly pranks. One of his court references spoke of his ‘childish senses’ of humor.
He stated that the first advertisement was posted on his wedding anniversary, and the second was on a Hindu auspicious day’ when his daughter was wearing a traditional outfit purchased by her father.
“There were emotions I didn’t fully comprehend at the time that led me to behave inappropriately.
He said that the emotions he was feeling caused him to act in a childish and immature manner.
The stressed of running his medical practice as a partner for five year under Covid conditions, and seeing patients who were optimistic, was what the married father claimed had increased his anxiety.
The GP insisted Mr Hay threatened him and his family when demanding another £300 for the job, after he agreed and paid a total of £1600.
“I was afraid he might do some thing and was willing to pay any price to end the drama.” He said if I did not pay him £300 he was going to tear down my fence and he knows where me and my family live.’
The doctor discovered Vivastreet while searching for a pregnancy kit for his wife. However, he claims he only posted twice as he didn’t know if the first post had been published.
“I put it there but didn’t get confirmation that it had been successful.
“Several months later, when I was done with the advertisement, I went back to Vivastreet and searched using the words I used. I couldn’t find anything in the gay escorts section.
“I thought it hadn’t went through, so I put it back on again.
Speaking about his experience on the day of his arrest Dr Ulakanathan said: ‘I was changing a nappy and getting ready for work when there was a knock on the door and I saw the police van from upstairs and thought ”has something happened to my mother and sister?”
“Three officers entered the house and took my belongings into my living-room. They told my wife and daughter that I was under investigation and they put me in a van. I remained in jail for several hours.
“It was a surreal, terrible experience. I was confused and didn’t know what was happening.
‘I thought that what I posted was not abusive and threatening, and Mr Hay’s name and address were already published on a publicly accessible forum. That’s how I found him.
“I did not conceal my details or hide the IP address. I did not conceal.
Dr Ulakanathan stated, “I wanted him to be beaten up.” It wasn’t my intention to get back at Dr Ulakanathan.
‘It’s not my nature to do this, to get vengeance. I didn’t expect anyone calling me to request these services to be honest.
Dr Ulakanathan was convicted by Deputy District Judge Turner. Turner stated: “He is a man who has a distinguished professional record, a practice in medicine, and is highly respected by his professional peers.
“The anniversary of the wedding was a trigger against Mr Hay that date. It is to cause maximum inconvenience when you give someone’s address, phone number, and name.
“The means used to exact revenge were chosen to have maximum effect. This was not a prank, and it was never intended to be one.
“This was very, extremely serious and I have no hesitation in saying that it is conduct which should be punished by a conviction.
“It hurts me to see him in his position, his history, and his character, but I can’t allow that to affect me.”