Doctor cleared of allegations he groped a female patient
A MACKAY district doctor has been cleared of allegations he groped a female patient and asked her for a kiss during a consultation.
The woman claimed the GP had sexually assaulted her after a breast examination on April 3 last year, which he disputed.
At 4.33pm yesterday the eight-woman, four-man jury indicated they had a verdict.
They delivered this to the court at 4.41pm.
The GP was found not guilty and discharged.
The jury had been deliberating for just over an hour.
The Daily Mercury has chosen not to name the man or medical centre involved in the matter.
On the first day of the District Court trial, prior to the prosecution closing its case, defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, for Morton Lawyers, made a no case submission.
This followed evidence given by the complainant.
Judge Hugh Botting closed the court while the woman presented her evidence in person.
Ms Hartigan told the court her no case submission came as a result of the woman's evidence given in court being different to her initial statement.
Ms Hartigan made the no case submission before Crown prosecutor Matthew Hynes had called his fourth witness. She said it was because the Crown case wouldn't get any stronger if continued. Mr Hynes agreed.
Judge Botting said there had been a "very material change" in the woman's evidence. This could affect her credibility, he said. He urged the Crown to give serious consideration to its position.
But Judge Botting ultimately ruled against the no-case application and the matter continued to be heard by the jury.
Because Judge Botting dismissed the application, the Daily Mercury was unable to print details of the no case submission before the jury reached its verdict.
A FEMALE patient told her GP "you will pay for that" when he said he would no longer see her as a patient, a jury was told.
The woman has accused the Mackay district doctor of sexually assaulting her during a consultation on April 3 last year. However, the man told the District Court in Mackay he did not touch her breast in a "cupping" motion or ask for a kiss.
The woman attended the medical centre for two prescriptions and during the visit the subject of bulk billing came up, the man said.
The doctor said he'd bulk billed her visits while the woman was unemployed, but on learning she had a job he told her she should start paying.
He said she'd become angry, so he'd told her he would no longer see her as a patient.
The woman alleges the doctor gave her a breast exam on the bed and afterwards had touched her breast, placed her hand over her breast with his on top, made eye contact and asked to kiss her.
The Daily Mercury has chosen not to name the doctor, who pleaded not guilty to indecent assault.
Questioned by defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan, for Morton Lawyers, the doctor said not only did he not perform a breast exam, but the woman hadn't moved from the chair during the consultation, and further, he had never performed a breast exam on her.
Multiple witnesses gave evidence about the doctor's reputation at the practice and within the community.
Records show the doctor called the woman on two occasions directly after her consultation. She said he'd called apologising.
He said it was because she'd left her contraceptive pill prescription.
Crown prosecutor Matthew Hynes asked the man why he didn't ask one of the receptionists to phone the woman if she had just threatened him.
The court heard from several defence witnesses who said the man had contacted them personally on previous occasions. The eight-woman, four-man jury begin deliberations this morning.