Wednesday 24 January 2018

Doctor found not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman

Ciaran Murphy

A DOCTOR has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman two weeks after assessing her in hospital.

The medic was cleared of sexually assaulting the woman (24) after a night out in the city last August Bank Holiday weekend.

A jury of seven men and five women took 90 minutes to decide the doctor’s innocence.

A depression sufferer, the patient presented at the emergency department of a hospital just two weeks prior to the alleged incident.

On this date, July 25, 2012, the non-consultant psychiatrist had assessed her. She had taken large quantities of prescribed medication.

Under questioning from Noel Whelan, prosecuting at the Circuit Criminal Court in the city on Wednesday, the woman said that she had taken “four or five” antidepressants and five valium tablets on this date.

The following morning, she said that she was sick. The woman agreed with her mother that she would go to hospital, where she was seen by the doctor.

He prescribed some medication for her and consulted with her about her problems and counselling options. He referred the woman for further treatment at a clinic.

Two weeks later, during a festival, the woman was low but decided to go to with friends to see a parade and the fireworks.

Here, she drank a “naggin” of vodka with an energy drink.

Then she went to a nightclub in the city where she had “one or two” more drinks and happened to meet the doctor again.

The woman said she became upset and he bought her a drink.

The pair were then seen leaving the club together and walking along the street before getting into his car in a nearby car park.

The woman “dialled” her number into his phone and he took her hand as she crossed the road.

The pair were holding hands at one point and Elaine Morgan, BL, defending, said her client had tried to stop her from falling.

They went to his car and continued talking.

However, the woman said that the doctor kissed her on the neck when she had moved her head to avoid him and he had kissed her “where I had cut myself”.

She said he touched her breast and twice asked her to get into the back seat.

However Ms Morgan BL, in closing, said that her client did not recognise the woman as a patient at the hospital and told her to get into the backseat because she would not put on her seatbelt.

“She was not restrained; there was no impediment to her getting out of the door.”

“Alcohol seems to be a problem,” said Ms Morgan. She told the jury that “false allegations are made” against people.

“Innocent people have been found guilty by people in this country.”

Noel Whelan, prosecuting, told the jury that they had to decide if the woman was “groped” or not.

This would amount to sexual assault, he said. The State had maintained that the doctor “took advantage of someone who was vulnerable”, he added.

However, the jury disagreed with the assertions and found the doctor not guilty of the charge.

Online Editors

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