Doctor denies sexual assault on patient at Clevedon Hospital

The trial continues at Bristol Crown Court.

The trial continues at Bristol Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

A doctor has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting a female patient at Clevedon Community Hospital, in what she says was a ‘sickening’ attack by a man she believed she could trust.

Steven Pearse-Danker denies he initiated the sexual touching.

Steven Pearse-Danker denies he initiated the sexual touching. - Credit: Archant

Dr Steven Pearse-Danker, pictured right, is alleged to have decided to ‘intimately touch’ the woman, who is in her 20s, during an appointment at the hospital in Old Street in August 2014.

The patient, who cannot be named as alleged sexual assault victims are legally entitled to anonymity, was seen by Pearse-Danker after experiencing what she believed to be a urinary tract infection.

She told Bristol Crown Court on Monday that the 59-year-old medic began the examination by pressing on her lower back and abdomen, but then moved his fingers downwards to touch her in an intimate area.

She said: “He asked me to lie down on the bed, which had tissue on it from the person before.

“My trousers were undone and he was feeling my stomach and it was hurting.

“Then he went further down. I looked away because it felt wrong.

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“It was underneath my underwear. I just thought, ‘get off me’.

“It was sickening – you are meant to be able to trust a doctor.”

Pearse-Danker,who lives in Hawthorn Hill in Worle, denies the sexual assault accusation.

James Haskell, prosecuting, said Pearse-Danker told hospital delivery driver Nicholas Shaw the patient placed his hand on her body ‘in a sexual manner’ during the examination.

Mr Haskell said: “The defendant initiated a conversation with him (Mr Shaw) and referred to the case. He said it was unusual.

“He said as he was examining her abdomen, she put her hand on his hand and pushed it down.

“Shaw said ‘do you mean where the pain was?’ and Dr Pearse-Danker said ‘no, lower, in what I can only describe as a sexual way’.

The jury heard Pearse-Danker had told Mr Shaw the woman was ‘embarrassed’ afterwards.

Mr Haskell added: “There are two different accounts as to what happened – either the doctor put his hands under her underwear in the way she describes, or he did not.

“The prosecution says that if he did so, he did so in a sexual manner. There can be no other reason for doing so.”

The trial continues and a verdict is expected later this week.