Andrew Hockton secures acquittal of GP in high profile Crown Court trial involving multiple allegations of sexual assault
8th December 2015
At the conclusion of a trial by jury of the Defendant, an experienced General Practitioner, at Leicester Crown Court on 2nd December 2015, the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts on the 5 remaining counts on the indictment (3 counts of sexual assault and two counts of assault by penetration). One further count of sexual assault was stayed following legal argument at the outset of the trial. A seventh count of sexual assault was dismissed at the conclusion of the prosecution case, following cross examination of the Crown’s expert.
The case had a complex procedural background. An initial trial in January 2014 on one count of sexual assault on one patient resulted in a hung jury. Four further patients complained to the police during the first trial, having read or heard about publicity concerning the trial in the Leicester Mercury. A second trial involving all 5 complainants in January 2015 also resulted in a hung jury. A sixth patient complained to the police, having seen further publicity during the second trial. The third trial was preceded by legal argument concerning the fairness of further proceedings which resulted in the first count, relating to the first patient, being stayed. However, the evidence of the first complainant was ruled by the trial judge, HHJ Hammond, to be admissible during the third trial as potential evidence of bad character. Accordingly, the trial involved allegations of indecency (under sections 2 and 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003) made by 6 patients. Expert GP evidence was adduced by both the Crown and the Defence.
Upon the conclusion of the evidence heard over two and a half weeks, the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts. At the conclusion of the trial, HHJ Hammond addressed the jury and told them that it was a complex case but that justice had been done. He further publicly stated that the Defendant, who was a married man with 3 children, left the Court without a stain on his character.
The Defendant was represented by Andrew Hockton, instructed by Angela Pilling of Ryan Solicitors.
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