Sussex doctor in court over sex assault

PAI JAYARAM  SUS-150313-113720001
PAI JAYARAM SUS-150313-113720001

A consultant paediatrician sexually assaulted a 16-year-old patient by ‘stroking’ her before groping her breasts and giving her a kiss on the cheek, a court has heard.

Dr Jayaram Pai, 46, of The Spinney, Battle, faces three charges of sexual assault against the teenager.

Jeffrey Lamb, prosecuting, told Hove Crown Court the incident happened when the alleged victim attended an appointment with Pai at the Conquest Hospital, East Sussex, on February 28, 2013.

He explained the teenager, who was being seen after complaining of pains to her side, was taken by her father to the hospital but she began the consultation without him as he had trouble finding a parking space.

Mr Lamb said Dr Pai said her test results were clear and asked if he could examine her.

After a brief examination of her chest, the victim says Pai asked if he could unbutton her trousers.

Mr Lamb said: “Dr Pai began to unbutton her jeans, asked if it was okay to do so, having done so he pulled down her underwear and began to feel her, in her words she used ‘down there’.

She says Dr Pai described her as gorgeous and leaned in towards to kiss her on the lips, she moved her head to one side and he managed only to kiss her on the cheek.

“At that point she was too scared to say anything but shortly afterwards there was a knock at the door and the nurse told her and Dr Pai her father had arrived.”

Mr Lamb said the consultation carried on but the defendant asked if her father would stand behind a curtain while he continued the examination, and it was at this point she claims he groped her breasts.

Mr Lamb continued: “She didn’t want to say anything to her father who was on the other side of the curtain because she was concerned her father would beat Dr Pai up, so she decided to wait until the end of the consultation to tell her father what had happened.”

He said that in the corridor after the consultation the victim: “Burst into tears, at that point she told her father she had been sexually assaulted by Dr Pai, it was decided amongst them she should make a formal complaint to the hospital there and then.”

Mr Lamb said Pai told police that he had not touched the victim beneath her underwear and denied sexually assaulting her.

He said Pai said: “All his actions were entirely appropriate as part of a proper medical examination.”

In a video interview shown to the court the victim she had been ‘too scared’ to protest at Pai’s actions.

She said: “He asked if he was making me uncomfortable, he said I was really pretty, I was gorgeous, I didn’t really say anything.

“I was shaking at the time, I didn’t know what he was capable of.

“He leaned in to kiss me and began to kiss me on the cheek, he said: ‘I am so sorry, have I done anything I shouldn’t have’, he asked if I was going to say anything. I was too scared to say anything.”

She added: “I was so scared, I wasn’t sure what he was capable of, if I stopped him, if I tried leaving the room, would he attack me.”

In the interview, recorded 14 months after the alleged incident, the victim said: “I was having sleepless nights, I feel it has affected me in a very, very big way, I have been having anxiety and paranoia issues, I am not good with doctors, my sexual life isn’t very good, if I am touched in certain places it triggers it all off again.”

She added: “I tried to block everything out.”

Pai has pleaded not guilty to the three offences at a previous hearing. The trial continues.

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