Court told of sexual assault by doctor at city hospital

Daily Echo: Dr Animesh Banerjee Dr Animesh Banerjee

A doctor sexually assaulted a woman in a Southampton hospital room before telling her: “It’s your fault – you’re gorgeous”, a court heard.

Dr Animesh Banerjee, 47, allegedly followed the woman into an outpatients’ room and closed the door, leaving the pair alone.

He then started “caressing” her left leg with his right hand before grabbing her right breast.

Dr Banerjee was “grinning” when he held her breast, Southampton Crown Court was told.

The victim, in her 20s, entered the outpatients’ room at the Royal South Hants Hospital on June 12 last year.

Dr Banerjee, who was not treating the woman, was a consultant and an ear, nose and throat specialist working for Care UK at the hospital.

The jury heard he would also tell her she was “gorgeous” and that he was attracted to her when he saw her at the hospital.

The “inappropriate” comments left the victim thinking the consultant was a “creep” and a “bit slimey”.

Prosecutor Simon Foster told the jury the defendant had worked at the hospital since 2010.

He added: “They were both at the hospital on June 12, 2013. At about 1pm on that day, the defendant was sat in a consultation room in an outpatients’ ward.

“When she went in, she left the door open because she was going to be alone with the defendant.

“Because of events which had taken place she was apprehensive about his attitude towards her.

“He had been making inappropriate comments to her, saying she was a gorgeous girl and he was attracted to her.

‘Caress’ “Dr Banerjee then shut the door which she had left open.

“He started to caress her left leg above the knee.

“She pushed him off and told him to ‘get off’, but he then started to massage her hand.

“She said ‘what are you doing?’ and got up from her chair but then he grabbed her right breast.

“He grabbed her in a sexual way and he was grinning at her – he then grabbed her wrist and held on to it. She went to the door and told him to stop before leaving the room.

“The next day the defendant came into hospital with a bottle of brandy and gave it to her.”

The victim reported it to the police and was interviewed on June 22.

Southampton Crown Court was shown the police interview in which she starts crying in the video.

She outlined how the defendant grabbed her and added: “I smacked him on the shoulder and on the arm which he was grabbing me with.

“He then let go and I told him he was being stupid before I left the room.

“He said ‘you’re too gorgeous – it’s your fault’.

“I thought he was a creep and a bit slimey when he complimented me.”

She added: “I was shocked because I did not expect it. I did not know what he was going to do.

“He literally put his whole hand around my breast. It was firm enough that I could not get him off.

“I was terrified and then I left the room. He was grinning when he was holding my breast – it was a horrible grin.”

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

The trial continues.

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