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Doctor assaulted nurse after row over television remote

A doctor “freaked out” and assaulted a nurse when she grabbed the TV remote control off him to watch Emmerdale, a medical panel has been told.

Dr Satpal Jabbal flew into a rage over a row about the ITV1 soap and squeezed her breast with both hands, the nurse claimed.

He then allegedly proceeded to grab a packet of crisps from her and stamp on them, throw a hot cup of coffee over her and then 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 in the tea room at the former Law Hospital in Carluke, Lanarkshire.

He is also facing allegations that he sexually assaulted two other nurses at Wishaw General Hospital.

Dr Jabbal denies misconduct and that his fitness to practise is impaired.

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

She added that a series of “playful, friendly” exchanges followed as she sat beside him.

“I asked him if I could turn the TV over and he said ‘f*** off’ but in a funny way,” she said. “I was there first, I said, and I was the one that switched the TV on.”

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 said.

She held the remote control behind her back with one hand and had the 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.”

It was then that he grabbed her left breast and squeezed tight which left her in “excruciating pain”.

The woman, referred to as MN during the hearing, said she dropped the control and dug her nails into his right wrist and tried to slap his left wrist. She said the doctor pulled her off her seat as they continued to struggle.

“I was telling him to get his hands off me,” she said. “He squeezed even harder. I can remember trying to kick him and I did.”

He eventually let her go and she told other staff who had come from the kitchen area what had just occurred.

Dr Jabbal is also alleged to have acted in an inappropriate and sexually motivated manner towards two other female nurses - one between March 2006 and February 2007 and the other in November 2007.

An investigation was launched by NHS Lanarkshire and he was suspended before he was 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, said Sara Lewis, counsel for the GMC.

Dr Jabbal, who was present at the hearing in Manchester, denies all charges of misconduct.

The hearing is scheduled to last four weeks.