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Swindon doctor cleared of sexual assault charges
3:03pm Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
A DOCTOR has walked free from court after being found not guilty on two counts of sexually assaulting a female patient.
Narendra Sharma, 56, congratulated his legal team after the verdicts brought his trial to a close at Salisbury Crown Court yesterday.
He said outside court: “I’m delighted and tired. It has been a year and a half of trauma, mental stress and depression.
“Hopefully I’ll feel better once I've had some time to reflect.”
Asked if he would return to the medical profession, Dr Sharma said: “Yes, it’s the only thing I know.”
A jury had retired earlier in the day to consider whether Dr Sharma had acted inappropriately during an intimate examination at Great Western Hospital on July 18, 2011.
The father-of-two, who gave evidence during his two-week trial, said that he had done nothing untoward and had followed recognised medical procedures.
The 33-year-old woman claimed that she had been sexually assaulted with a medical instrument and touched in an inappropriate way.
She had made a complaint to police after Dr Sharma, of The Boulevard, Taw Hill, had examined her at the Clover Centre, which is part of the Great Western Hospital.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had gone to hospital after feeling unwell following a wasp sting.
Earlier in the day, Judge Barnett, recorder of Salisbury, told the jury one of the key questions was to consider whether Dr Sharma’s actions were ‘part of a proper and justified medical examination.’ He said: “If he knew full well what he did was not part of a proper and justified medical examination you may find the prosecution have proved the case.”
A third count of sexual assault was struck out earlier in the trial.
On the final day, Judge Barnett summed up evidence from witnesses including Dr Sharma's wife Anita, who is also a doctor.
She had described her husband, who came to the UK after a career in the Indian air force, as a ‘very confident, sympathetic doctor’.
The trial had heard the patient had suffered ill health, including post-traumatic stress disorder, following a car accident.
She had claimed Dr Sharma had subjected her to the invasive examination after she felt feverish and started sweating profusely following the wasp sting.
The woman had originally gone to A & E but after checking in was told she would be seen quicker at the walk-in centre for referrals.
In his evidence Dr Sharma had told the court the woman had seemed happy with her treatment and had been reluctant to leave after the consultation.
The former wing commander, who worked long hours at GWH and as a locum doctor, said: “I was praying in my heart she would go away.”
Judge Barnett ordered £300 travel costs to be paid to Dr Sharma and told him: “You are free to leave without any stain on your character.”