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Doctor jailed 16 weeks for molesting three nurses

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 November, 2012, 3:30am
 

A doctor was yesterday sentenced to 16 weeks in jail after he was found guilty of molesting three nurses at a public hospital.

Magistrate Ko Wai-hung sentenced neurosurgeon Dr Allan So Cheuk-wai, 36, in Kowloon City Court, for his conviction on three counts of indecent assault and two counts of committing an act outraging public decency.

So was released on bail pending appeal against the conviction. He has been suspended from his duties at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei since his arrest.

The court previously heard that the doctor molested three nurses, aged between 27 and 41, and exposed himself on various occasions between January 2010 and June last year. One victim said So approached her from behind at a nursing station and pressed his genitals against her hand. He was fully dressed at the time. Another victim said So, who is married, exposed his pubic hair and penis to her while she was showing him how to use a safety pin to secure his loose trousers.

The judge said an immediate custodial sentence was "the only option" because the offences were serious and So showed "no remorse" - insisting on his innocence throughout the trial.

"Employees must be protected from their superiors" because they were in a vulnerable position, he said.

The court also considered the fact that So abused his working relationship with the victims as an aggravating factor, he said.

In hearing submissions for mitigation, defence lawyer Graham Harris SC described So as "a young professional who is held in the highest regard by his colleagues".

The offences were not "the worst of their kind", Harris said. So is the sole income provider for his family and they have been living off his savings since his suspension from the hospital, Harris said.

So might also face serious punishment from the Medical Council - the profession's ruling body - as it had recently "struck off a doctor who was acquitted of indecent assault", Harris said.

A private doctor earlier this month lost his qualification indefinitely after the council found he had secretly photographed six female patients and touched them inappropriately.

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