Doctor denies sexual assault on woman

Daily Echo: Dr Animesh Banerjee. Dr Animesh Banerjee.

A DOCTOR accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Southampton hospital has denied ever touching her.

Consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon Animesh Banerjee allegedly followed a woman into an outpatients’ room at Royal South Hants Hospital and sexually assaulted her, caressing her leg and grabbing her breast – telling her it was “her fault” because she was “gorgeous”.

But, taking the stand, Dr Banerjee denied touching the woman, who was not a patient, on June 12 last year and told the jury he had talked to her about his work.

He said: “When she came to the room I opened the door for her and then closed it. I was having my lunch and I usually close the door.

“I was going through quite a few files. I did not touch her as far as I can remember. Then she just got up out of her chair and left the room.”

Previously in the trial the jury heard that the accused would frequently tell the woman she was “gorgeous” and that he was attracted to her when he saw her at the hospital.

Dr Banerjee, who had run a clinic at Care UK at the hospital since 2010, said it was common for him to “pay compliments” to people at the hospital but that he never intended anything sexual by it.

He said: “I am a friendly, open and honest person. I treat everyone equally and with respect. I’m friendly with the majority of people at the hospital from the porters to my colleagues.”

Dr Banerjee also denied telling her he could “touch her if he wanted to”.

He added: “I might have said she was gorgeous but I have said that to other people too.”

Dr Banerjee, of Eastleigh, denies one count of sexual assault and one count of common assault.

Proceeding.

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