Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 18:12 UK

Ex-burglar barred from university

Majid Ahmed
Majid Ahmed was convicted of burglary in 2005

A teenager has had an offer of a place to study medicine at London's Imperial College withdrawn after it emerged he had a "spent" conviction for burglary.

Majid Ahmed, 18, from Bradford, says he was told by the university he could not be trusted as a GP.

He described the decision as "totally unfair and unnecessary" and said he did not deserve the trouble he received.

Imperial College said the public "must have confidence in the integrity and probity of its doctors".


Imperial College London said the conviction prevents Mr Ahmed joining the course

"Medical practitioners hold a position of responsibility within society."

In a statement it added the university complied "fully" with the Criminal Records Bureau's code of practice.

But it insisted it did not "unfairly discriminate against any applicant on the basis of a conviction".

'Only human'

In November 2005 Mr Ahmed was convicted of burglary and given a four-month referral order specifying community service as a sentence.

For under-18s in England the law considers such a conviction to be "spent" as soon as the community service is finished.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states anyone wishing to be employed in the medical profession must always declare a "spent" conviction in applications to work or study.

"They have to look at the whole bigger picture as well," Mr Ahmed told BBC London.

"They can't just look at this one offence. We're only human and we've made mistakes.

"If they look at all the other things I've done as well, people are going to be more than happy to have me as their doctor."

Imperial College conducted an assessment of whether Mr Ahmed could be considered a risk to patients, and decided he would.

He said he intended to take his case further to try to regain the offer of a place on the course.

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