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Doctor in court on sex assault charges
A SWINDON doctor faced a judge and jury yesterday after pleading not guilty to three counts of sexual assault on a patient.
Narendra Sharma, 55, of The Boulevard, Taw Hill, appeared at Salisbury Crown Court charged with three offences, relating to July 18, 2011, while he was working in the Clover Centre, at the Great Western Hospital.
He is said to have sexually assaulted a 33-year-old female patient with a medical instrument, and sexually touched her without her consent and without reasonably believing that she had consented.
In her opening statement, Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said the woman had gone for a walk on July 17, before returning to work the following day after suffering with laryngitis.
During the walk, the woman was stung on her leg by a wasp.
The following day, while at work, the woman began to feel feverish, her leg began to swell causing her discomfort and she started sweating profusely.
She later removed her underwear because she was sweating so much.
Eventually her colleagues insisted on taking her to A&E. After checking in, she was told she would be seen quicker at the nearby Clover Centre, a walk-in centre for referrals.
It was there that she was seen by Dr Sharma, who usually works at the Taw Hill Medical Practice.
During an hour-long consultation to check the wasp sting, Dr Sharma is alleged to have asked her to remove her top while he took her blood pressure, before carrying out a vaginal examination and informing her she had cystitis. The court was told that the patient said she was never offered a sheet to cover her modesty, or a chaperone.
Dr Sharma claims he looked for a chaperone but all the nurses in reception were busy. CCTV footage does not show him visit reception at all during the consultation.
Video footage of the woman giving evidence to police was also shown to the court, during which she explained how she assumed Dr Sharma was carrying out the correct medical procedures, although at times she felt uncomfortable. The court heard that it wasn’t until the victim spoke to her mum and friends following the consultation that she became more concerned and followed it up with an appointment with her own GP, who said he felt the incident needed to be investigated further.
She said: “He [Sharma] said he needed to feel the tops of my legs, which embarrassed me quite a lot because, of course, by this time I had no knickers on and I had been hot and sweaty. But you just think, I want to get better so that’s fine.”
When she was asked to get on all fours, she said she thought it was unusual.
“I thought this seemed like a sexual position, but then I thought no it’s not, it’s a medical examination. It felt a bit uncomfortable but I didn’t say anything. I’m not a medical professional. I have tried to block it out of my mind.”
The trial continues.