A physiotherapist who secretly filmed men using a urinal in a public toilet and changing room 25 times has been fined $2000 for professional misconduct.
A physiotherapist who secretly filmed men using a urinal in a public toilet and changing room 25 times has been fined $2000 for professional misconduct.

Physio fined for secretly filming men in urinal

A physiotherapist who secretly filmed men using a urinal in a Cairns public toilet and changing room 25 times has been fined $2000 for professional misconduct.

George Tharwat Abdullah Labib, 29, pretended to be speaking into his mobile phone, held to his ear, as he videoed men at a urinal in the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon change room on May 25, 2019, a tribunal heard.

When police were called to the change room, as a result of Labib's repeated unusual behaviour, he was seen trying to delete images from his phone, before it was seized.

Police found videos of men using the urinal or changing clothes, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

The videos all showed the victims' genitals.

Labib pleaded guilty to 25 counts of making observations or recordings in breach of privacy in July, 2019, and was sentenced to 12 months' probation. No convictions were recorded.

QCAT Deputy President, Judge John Allen, said it was a very serious violation of the victims' privacy.

 

The tropical swimming lagoon on the Esplanade in Cairns.
The tropical swimming lagoon on the Esplanade in Cairns.

 

"It involved multiple victims and devious and deliberate conduct over a not insignificant period of time," Judge Allen said.

Labib completed a physiotherapy degree in Egypt in 2014 and was registered to practise in Australia in 2018.

A psychologist reported that Labib's personal development and understanding of appropriate behaviour was substantially impacted by the cultural and social repression he suffered in Egypt.

He lacked self-awareness at the time of the conduct, he was socially isolated and his had difficulties in managing anxiety and depression, the tribunal was told.

Judge Allen said Labib was aware that his actions were socially unacceptable, but unaware that they were unlawful.

"The psychological evidence is clear that there is no element of paraphilia involved," the judicial member said.

Labib's conduct was substantially below the standard expected of a registered physiotherapist, Judge Allen said.

Between October, 2019, and February, the Health Ombudsman imposed registration restrictions, barring Labib from treating any males and anyone under 18.

Since January he has only been able to practise at approved locations.

On March 24, Labib was reprimanded by the tribunal and fined him $2000.

Originally published as Physio fined for secretly filming men in urinal