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Jury continues its deliberations

PUBLISHED: 10:21 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:16 05 July 2010

The jury in the trial of a doctor accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a Norfolk hospital will continue its deliberations today.

Rashid Sandhu, 30, who was a casualty department doctor at the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston, denies the charge.

The jury in the trial of a doctor accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a Norfolk hospital will continue its deliberations today.

Rashid Sandhu, 30, who was a casualty department doctor at the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston, denies the charge.

Sandhu is said to have rubbed the girl's breast with gel during an illegal medical procedure in an office at the hospital last June, telling her she needed an abortion after falsely informing her she was pregnant.

Yesterday at Norwich Crown Court, Mark Errington, a doctor at the James Paget who has known Sandhu for about five years, described him as a calm and competent doctor.

Some doctors who were friends with Sandhu and trained with him at a medical college in Pakistan also spoke in his defence.

Asad Rahman said: “He was one of the brightest people in our class. He was a very good doctor; very professional.” And Ameer Saif said: “He was very intelligent, very hard-working. As a person he was very kind and sympathetic.” He said Sandhu, who lived at Hopton, near Yarmouth, but now resides in Kent, had told him it was all a dreadful accident how the 170 pornographic images referred to at the trial had come to be on his computer.

After the prosecution and defence had made their final submissions, Judge Simon Barham made his closing speech to the jury.

He told jurors they must be satisfied the prosecution had proved beyond all reasonable doubt that Sandhu inserted tubes into the girl, that the act was sexual in nature, that the girl did not consent to it and that Sandhu did not reasonably believe the girl had consented.

He reminded jurors that they should not be prejudiced by Sandhu previously admitting possessing 170 images of child pornography, and that a medical examination on the girl neither confirmed nor refuted the sexual assault allegation.

But he said there was a great deal of evidence to support the teenager's claims. This included the witness statement of the teenager's friend that each girl saw the doctor alone and unchaperoned when this was not usual practice, and that Sandhu had lied to police.

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