Doctor Allan So Cheuk-Wai found guilty of molesting nurses

Magistrate says accusations against married doctor were 'definitely not' accidents, but adjourns sentencing pending professional reports

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 October, 2012, 3:17am

A married doctor was yesterday found guilty of molesting three nurses at a public hospital.

Magistrate Ko Wai-hung adjourned sentencing to next month, pending professional reports, after the defence counsel said the ruling had "far-reaching consequences for the profession".

Dr Allan So Cheuk-wai, 35, of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, was convicted of three counts of indecent assault and two counts of committing an act of outraging public decency.

He was acquitted of two other counts of indecent assault, as the magistrate said he could not rule out the possibility of accidental touching.

All the incidents happened between January 2010 and June last year.

The doctor, who has been suspended from his duties, was freed on bail after the verdict in Kowloon City Court yesterday.

Ko said committing such crimes at workplaces and targeting colleagues were a "serious offence".

The court heard earlier that So had approached a nurse, 41, from behind and, with his trousers on, pressed his genitals against her left palm while she was reviewing admission records at a nursing station.

The nurse testified that So had leaned on her, preventing her from removing her hand.

Ko said such an act was "definitely not an accident".

Another nurse, 35, testified that So exposed his pubic hair and penis to her while she was teaching him to use a safety pin to secure his loose trousers at a nursing station.

"I immediately stood up straight and I was very frightened," she said.

Ko said the act was deliberate and the charge of committing an act outraging public decency was justified, as "the public can get access to the room through corridors".

The magistrate also noted that two of the victims were married and the third, 27, had experience dealing with male patients, so they could be certain the hard object pressing against them was not So's personal belongings, but his genitals.

Defence lawyer Graham Harris SC requested an adjournment of the sentencing. He said the court had "a heavy responsibility to get things right" as the sentence could have long-term consequences for the profession.

Ko is awaiting a background report and reports from psychologists and psychiatrists on the doctor. He will pass sentence on November 23.

A spokesman for the hospital said it respected the court's verdict and would follow up on the case according to its human resources codes and procedures.

The court heard previously that the hospital did not issue So an official warning even after two women complained to their superiors about the incidents.