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HCA charged with rape at Sussex hospital

A healthcare assistant has been charged with raping a patient at St Richard’s Hospital in West Sussex.

Sajin Kunjappu Panikkassery, 29, of Langton Road, Chichester, has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of rape of a woman patient at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, on 10 January, Sussex Police said in a statement.

Mr Panikkassery, an HCA at St Richard’s, has been charged and kept in police custody to appear before Worthing Magistrates Court on 14 January, the statement said.

The victim, a woman in her 20s, is receiving help and support and is no longer at the hospital.

The statement added that officers were receiving full co-operation from Western Sussex Hospitals Trust, which runs the hospital

In a statement the trust confirmed that a member of staff at St Richard’s has been charged after being arrested by Sussex Police in connection with an alleged incident on 10 January.

“The member of staff will not be working at the trust while the investigation takes place,” the statement said.

“The trust is cooperating fully with the police enquiry but is unable to make any further comment while the investigation is ongoing,” it added.

Readers' comments (5)

  • How dreadful, even when the nation is showing its aborance at the Saville revellations, and cover-up by hospital staff,this has happened. People will be scared to go into hospital, for fear of being put on a Death pathway, or raped!

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  • It is just incredible.

    It is not the place here, but I find nowhere else to raise the issue, but have convents and care homes run by nuns in the UK been the subject of investigation? highly disturbing past histories of severe child abuse have just come to light in some in Europe.

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  • Narrow minded comments as usual fuelled by usual media rubbish. I live in the area and the man has not been found guilty yet

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  • in response to comment above, sanctimoniousness and intolerance of others' comments is also narrow minded.

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  • If the man has been charged and found guilty,how on earth could this happen to a 20 year old female and not be noticed by any number of people ? Maybe it occurred behind closed doors, maybe it happened in the dead of night and the patient was in a coma and maybe, if it happened at all, it might be a sign to encourage only female attendants attend female patients. Maybe there is a shortage of female PCAs or a shortage of caring people doing staff allocations Maybe

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