Sunday 21 January 2018

Doctor goes on trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court accused of sexually assaulting two female patients

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

Declan Brennan

A doctor has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting two female patients during medical consultations.

The doctor is alleged to have touched the women's breasts while examining their chests with a stethoscope.

The 37-year-old man, who cannot be named at this stage for legal reasons, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of sexual assault at a GP clinic in Dublin on February 19 and 20, 2013.

The first alleged victim told Melanie Greally BL, prosecuting, that at that time she was aged 22 and was at work suffering from cold and flu symptoms. She arranged to leave work and go to the GP clinic.

The accused was working there on his first day in a locum position. The woman said that early in the consultation she began to feel uncomfortable with the doctor and she felt it was not a normal free flowing conversation.

She testified: "When he asked me a question he didn't look me in the eye, he appeared to be just looking at me. There were pauses before every question. I felt very uneasy." She said he commented that she was very young to be working where she was.

She said that when he went to take her blood pressure she held her arm out and he "gently" took her hand and turned her arm around and, with his finger tips, ran his fingers up the length of my arm "really gently".

She said: "I was already feeling uncomfortable, automatically I felt very very uncomfortable."

She said because she felt this was not appropriate she looked to see if the doctor was aroused. She told the court she thought he appeared to be but that she couldn't be certain.

The doctor then asked her to lie on the examination bed and told her he was going to examine her chest. She undid two buttons of her shirt and said that he then undid two more buttons without speaking.

"He didn't tell me what he was going to do, he took his time, he didn't explain what he was going to do. I started to feel very uncomfortable. He was fumbling with the button, I felt so uncomfortable that I undid it. The shirt was fully open, exposing my chest and stomach".

She said he then pulled her bra strap down and pushed her bra to one side exposing her breast. He began he began to touch her breast as he cupped the stethoscope in the palm of his hand, she alleged.

"He'd choose a part to touch and cup it and was doing stroking motions over my nipple with his thumb. The stethoscope remained cupped in his hands the whole time," she said.

She said he did the same with her right breast and didn't speak during any of this. Afterwards she said he wrote her a prescription and a sick certificate and gave her a plastic syringe and told her to fill it up with water at home and squirt it up her nose.

She testified that after she left she became very upset and was crying.

The trial continues before Judge Catherine Murphy and a jury of five women and seven men. It is expected to last five days.

Irish Independent

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