Bassetlaw: False rape claims doctor ‘was not attention seeking’

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A junior doctor who says she invented rape claims so two physical attacks would be taken seriously is not an attention seeker, a tribunal was told today (Thursday 19th September 2013).

The woman, who cannot legally be named, claimed she was dragged into an office at Bassetlaw Hospital at knifepoint by two unknown men, injected with drugs, tied down, burnt with a lighter, beaten and raped.

She later reported a second incident to colleagues, claiming she was raped again at knife point.

The woman made the false declarations to colleagues and police before retracting the allegations in an official statement on 19th July 2011.

She now admits the rape allegations were false, but claims she ‘embellished’ the details of two genuine physical assaults on 1st April and 3rd June 2011 so she would be taken seriously.

The doctor is facing a fitness to practise panel in Manchester to decide if she will be allowed to continue her career.

“The woman was in a stable relationship, happy at work and socially active and had no reason to completely invent the attack,” said Owen Jones, defending.

“We have the account of the woman and there is perhaps limited independent evidence.”

“There are no witnesses, no CCTV, no forensic evidence and no apparent motivation.”

“The circumstances of that assault would again appear it was perhaps targeted, perhaps untargeted, perhaps random, perhaps a case of mistaken identity. We must not speculate.”

“There is no discernible motivation whatsoever for her to make up a completely fabricated course of events.”

“There was no benefit for her and no motivation for doing so. This was not attention seeking behaviour,” he added.

“She chose to come clean as she did, admitted dishonesty and it is to her credit she admitted her dishonesty and took responsibility for her actions, all be it late in the day.’

But the General Medical Council (GMC) allege she was not the victim of any kind of assault on either occasion.

Simon Jackson QC, for the GMC, told the panel her account was ‘so implausible as to be incapable of belief.’

He said: “The GMC do not accept there was any assault of any kind on the woman on 1st April 2011 and therefore not only has she lied about the fact she was raped, which is a lie she has since admitted, but that she has lied in the context of the suggestion she was the subject of an assault when she was followed into a room, held down by one man and kicked by a second.”

The woman earlier told the hearing: “The whole event was very distressing.”

“It was a shock and I found myself more nervous, more anxious, not sleeping very well, more tearful than usual,” she said.

“I didn’t feel that I was entitled to feel as distressed as I did. I was worried other people might have a similar view to me, that they might feel that it was not that serious and wonder why I was not my usual self and why I was anxious and distressed.”

“I wanted some support and to ensure I was supported I did embellish my account. I think it was a way of trying to express the distress I was feeling.”

She added: “I was worried that unless the attack itself had been serious that people would not take it seriously.”

Over the following weeks she had told colleagues she had become pregnant after being raped and cut with a knife during the assault which was filmed on a mobile phone.

The woman also raised suspicions about two hospital doctors who she thought may have known about the assault, but did not implicate them in the rape.

She apologised to her colleagues during the hearing earlier this week.

When the doctor was asked to give an official statement on 19th July after the case was passed on to Notts Police she retracted the allegations.

Sgt Melanie Ball, of Notts Police, had told the panel they decided not to charge the woman with wasting police time after she stated she never intended to make an official complaint.

But no charges were ever brought in relation to the alleged assaults the doctor still maintains occurred.

She has admitted to a number of charges including making false declarations to colleagues and police that she had been raped by two men in April 2011 and on another occasion in June 2011.

She denies lying about certain details of the attacks, which she maintains did occur, and denies dishonest and misleading conduct.

The panel must now decide if her version of events is true.

Even if she is cleared of the outstanding allegations she could still be struck off over the admitted charges.

The hearing continues.