Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Former Local Lib Dem Councillor 'Groped Breasts of Four Patients' Court Told

Update to 'Dentist Facing Fresh Sexual Assault Charges In Court' and 'Three Charges of Sexual Assault Denied by Lib Dem'.

A dentist who once ran for Parliament groped four female patients after claiming he was worried that their glands were swollen, a court heard yesterday, reports The Express and Daily Telegraph.

Dr. Adrian Heath, who was the Liberal Democrats candidate for the Gainsborough Constituency in the 2005 General Election, allegedly touched women while they were in his dentist's chair in a way that had 'no clinical justification'.

It is claimed he asked one to undo her trousers after 'tweaking' her nipples and told another he was worried her inflamed glands could 'lead to other things' as he cupped her breasts in his hands, it was said.

Dr. Heath is on trial at Nottingham Crown Court accused of sexually assaulting four female patients

Dr. Heath, who is married to a member of Lincoln City Council, Cllr. Mrs. Helen Heath, Liberal Democrat (Carholme Ward), claimed he was concerned about the women's health, but a jury at Nottingham Crown Court heard the examinations were not justified. Mr. Jonathan Straw, prosecuting, said one alleged offence took place in August 2008 when a middle-aged woman was treated for a mouth abscess.

Mr. Straw told the court that Dr. Heath was alone with the woman at the Genesis Dental Care NHS practice in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, after asking his nurse to develop an X-ray in another room. He said:
"He went to stand by the woman to examine her glands because her jaw was swollen because of the abscess.

"He moved his hand down to her shoulders and explained that glands run right through the body and the abscess might have affected the rest of her glands.

"He asked if he could examine and touch her breasts. She believed it was part of a legitimate examination.

"He probed around the top of her breasts with his fingers and lifted one breast out of her bra and said: "It's swollen, I'll have to examine the other.
"He then tweaked one of the woman's nipples and asked if it hurt
At this point he replaced the breast in the bra and then asked if she would undo her trousers.

"She replied: "No, I'm sorry, you're embarrassing me now"."
When the nurse returned with the X-ray Dr. Heath asked her to stay out of the room, the court heard.

Later when the nurse challenged him about it he allegedly told her he had spotted signs of a sexually transmitted disease in the woman's mouth and needed to speak to her alone as it was a sensitive issue.

The traumatised patient left the surgery and later discussed the examination with a friend and her husband.

Both agreed it was not normal and she contacted her doctor's nurse, who advised her to go to the police.

A second patient went to Dr. Heath with an infected wisdom tooth. As she sat in the chair he told her:
"Your glands are up. That's dangerous and can lead to other things,"
before carrying out an examination of her breasts, it was claimed.

Mr. Straw told the jury the woman was already 'distraught' because a close relative had recently died of breast cancer.

The dentist, who began working at the practice in April 2008, went on trial over the same offences in September last year.

That trial was abandoned when police were contacted by a woman who had read about the case and claimed she had been sexually assaulted twice in the same way in November 2007, while Heath was working at another surgery - the Oasis Dental Practice in Lincoln.

Dr. Heath, from Lincoln, denies five counts of sexual assault between November 2007 and August 2008. He is alleged to have assaulted three women at the Gainsborough practice and one woman on two occasions at the Lincoln practice.

When arrested, he told police he had treated the women 'in an appropriate clinical way'. Dr. Heath, is a former member of West Lindsey District Council Liberal Democrat Group and stood down at the May 2008 Local Elections.

The case continues.

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