GP denies Clevedon hospital sexual assault charge

The trial continues at Bristol Crown Court.

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

A doctor has denied sexually assaulting a patient during an out-of-hours consultation at Clevedon Community Hospital last year.

Dr Steven Pearse-Danker is accused of sexually assaulting the then 22-year-old female after she attended the hospital in Old Street on August 2, 2014, with what she believed to be a urinary tract infection.

The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, accused the doctor of ‘intimately’ touching her during an examination, but the GP told jurors at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday that she pressed on his hand while he was examining her stomach.

The medic said he was concerned the alleged victim’s symptoms could have indicated a serious underlying condition and said her behaviour ‘shocked’ him.

Dr Pearse-Danker, of Hawthorn Hill, told the court: “When I put my hand there (on her abdomen), I was not looking at her at that moment in time.

“I felt pressure from above pressing my hand into her stomach.

“I did not know what it meant and it was not clear to me what the touch indicated, but it was out of the ordinary.

“At that stage, I had not satisfied myself that there was not something seriously wrong. I decided to finish the exam as quickly as possible and get away.

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“I was so surprised and shocked about it. I would have thought if there was a problem she would have grabbed my hand and pulled it away (but) she actually pressed it into her stomach.”

Jurors heard Dr Pearse-Danker spoke with a hospital delivery driver after the examination and told him the patient was ‘embarrassed’ by what happened.

The trial continues and is expected to finish this week.