Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Junior doctor 'lied about being raped by two men twice in her own hospital'

A Junior doctor falsely claimed she had been raped by two men at the hospital where she worked, a medical tribunal was told yesterday.

Hannah Farnsworth, 26, alleged that, in one of two attacks, she was dragged into an office, threatened with a knife and sexually assaulted.

The attackers were said to have filmed the ordeal on a mobile phone as she was tied with ropes, cut with a knife, burnt with a cigarette lighter and injected with drugs.

The medic claimed she was left pregnant after the attack and said two other men at the hospital – both doctors – were not responsible for the alleged rapes but ‘knew about’ them.

But after making a statement to police, she confessed that she had lied. Dr Farnsworth now admits the rape claims were false, but instead insists she was physically attacked on the two occasions.

Yesterday she appeared before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal, which will decide whether she can continue with her career.
The panel heard the alleged sex attacks happened at Bassetlaw District General Hospital in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

Simon Jackson QC, for the General Medical Council, said the junior doctor was never assaulted.

‘As a result of these false complaints of rape, the trust undertook an investigation and spent in the region of £10,000 to increase security and two police forces investigated these false allegations of rape.

'The doctor’s conduct in making these false allegations was dishonest and misleading.’

The allegations came to light when the newly-qualified doctor told a colleague and friend she had been first attacked in April 2011, the panel was told.

‘It was plain that at the time this first account was given she was upset and distressed,’ Mr Jackson said.

‘She said two men, one of whom had tattoos on his arm, followed her into the room, produced a knife and used that knife to threaten her.

‘As a result of being taken hold of she had struggled.

‘The two men tied her up and she had banged her head. She said it was sexually motivated and that was all the detail that had been given on that occasion.’

The doctor was said to have later told a colleague, Dr Jen Middleton, she had been cut with a knife, suffered a back injury and was burned by one or both of the men using a cigarette lighter.

Dr Middleton was concerned and spoke to another colleague, Dr Laura Smy, about the alleged attack.

Mr Jackson added: ‘In the days that followed those initial declarations, the doctor then made further, now admitted false declarations to a senior manager, Mr Peter Wilson. Those false declarations were made to a number of people.’

After the alleged attack the doctor – who qualified in 2010 – reported receiving mysterious bleeps on her pager, threats over the phone and indicated two doctors may have known about the claimed attacks.

She eventually contacted South Yorkshire Police to report the first alleged assault on June 2.

However, the next day she told Dr Smy that she had been attacked again earlier the same day in a hospital car park.

Dr Smy told the hearing she invited the junior doctor to her house, where she arrived with a nosebleed and a cut behind her ear.

‘She said she had been threatened by two men with a knife, that she was taken into the postgraduate medical education centre, where she had been raped again and cut with a knife in the course of what would have been the second rape,’ said Mr Jackson.

‘The police were now involved and in the course of the investigation the doctor was expected to provide a statement,’ he added.

‘She admitted she had not been raped or sexually assaulted in either incident.

‘She felt she would not have been taken seriously if the allegation was not a serious assault.’

Dr Smy said she was told that two doctors at the hospital may have watched the mobile phone footage of the alleged rapes.

‘[She said] that they had watched the film, that she looked like she had enjoyed it and then threatened her with a repeat attack if she told anybody,’ she said.

Dr Farnsworth admits charges including making false declarations to colleagues and police that she had been raped on two occasions.

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

Police have to refused to say if she will be charged with wasting police time. The hearing continues.