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Nurse denies lying 'out of spite'

A nurse today denied she was lying “out of spite” when she claimed a doctor “freaked out” and assaulted her in a staff tea room because he did not want to watch Emmerdale.

She alleges Dr Satpal Jabbal squeezed her left breast with both hands after she grabbed the TV remote control from him to turn over to the ITV1 soap.

He was then said to have thrown a hot cup of coffee over her and pushed the television from its stand as he shouted at her: “If I cannot watch the television, then neither can you.”

The anaesthetist is accused of misconduct over the alleged incident, said to have taken place at the former Law Hospital in Carluke, Lanarkshire.

Giving evidence at a General Medical Council fitness to practise hearing, the clinical support worker said the incident in October 2001 started when she switched the TV on before going to the toilet.

She said she was planning to watch Emmerdale but Dr Jabbal was watching the news or cricket on another channel when she returned.

She said she then reached over the arm of his chair and grabbed the remote control and laughed at him, saying “Ha ha, I’ve got it back”.

The mood then altered as Dr Jabbal got up and started shouting and swearing at her, she continued.

She held the remote control behind her back with one hand and had a bag of crisps in the other.

“He took the crisps out of my hand and put them to the floor and then jumped on them,” she said.

“I think I laughed.”

The nurse, referred to as MN throughout the hearing, said Dr Jabbal then grabbed her breast and squeezed it, which left her in “excruciating pain”.

Jeremy Hyam, representing the doctor, put it to her that she had in fact held the remote control to her chest and he was simply trying to retrieve it.

“Is what really happened is you have taken the remote control,” he said.

“He got angry you had switched the channel, you took the remote control to your chest and he tried to get the remote control.”

“Sorry, no,” she replied.

Mr Hyam continued: “You had shouted and sworn and he got cross.

“It was all very unseemly and after the event out of spite or some other reason you have made an allegation of assault for your own purpose.”

The nurse said: “If that is the case, when Dr Jabbal let me go and I told everyone what he had done in the tea room why did he not deny it.

“I would not wait 11 years and then say ‘I did not do it’.

“What I said has happened. That is what has happened.”

An investigation was launched by NHS Lanarkshire into the allegations made by the three nurses and he was eventually dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct in December 2009.

Shortly afterwards, Dr Jabbal applied for the post of speciality doctor in anaesthetics at Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust.

He stated his reason for leaving Wishaw General was because of a disagreement with management, Ms Lewis said.

She added he went on to mislead an interviewing panel by saying there was no case to answer involving allegations of assault against him.

The GMC alleges that was dishonest and misleading.

Dr Jabbal denies any misconduct.

The hearing continues.

Readers' comments (6)

  • tinkerbell

    but what happened in Emmerdale?

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  • Oh Tinkerbell.....brilliant.....thanks for making me laugh!!

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  • malibubug26@hotmail.com

    hehehe made me chuckle tinkerbell! 11 years to get to friggin court?!

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  • michael stone

    I'm not quite sure if it took 11 years to 'get to court', or if that incident was added to later ones, which prompted the action.

    But I'm always dubious about these cases involving events years in the past - I often can't remember last week, let alone 10 years ago, and I've never felt it reasonable to be asked to defend yourself against 'stale' allegations.

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  • the 'false memory syndrome' is well known by the police and in courts of law and has to be taken into account.

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  • Good grief all this over Emmerdale? Me thinks these two had too much time on their hands. And I want to work at a hospital that has staff rooms let alone ones with TVs!

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