ACCUSED Newcastle doctor Jeremy Coleman has told a jury he always had a proper medical purpose for conducting an internal examination, always gave an explanation and asked first and always wore gloves.
Dr Coleman, 64, who was giving evidence on Tuesday for the seventh straight day during his marathon sexual assault trial in Newcastle District Court, also denied ever squatting down “at eye level” during a vaginal examination and rejected an allegation from one patient that he had smelled his fingers afterwards.
The well-known Newcastle doctor, who has seen more than 40,000 patients and conducted more than 150,000 consultations during his career, has pleaded not guilty to more than 60 counts of sexual and indecent assault against 46 female patients between 1989 and 2013.
For the past week, under examination from his defence barrister Pauline David, Dr Coleman has been refuting claims made by former patients during the prosecution case, including denying that he said to one patient, who was using contraceptive injection product Depo Provera, that he “would not give that to my dog”.
“I would have more likely said I wouldn't give that to my wife or my daughter,” Dr Coleman said. “That is the truth. It has too many side effects.”
The jury was told at the outset that Dr Coleman’s six-month trial would turn on three words; proper medical purpose.
And Dr Coleman, who is a general physician, allergy and immunology specialist, has sought to explain why he allegedly did certain examinations, like abdominal or internal, when patients came in presenting with respiratory problems or rashes.
Dr Coleman said he disagreed with another doctor’s opinion that it was “inappropriate” to conduct an abdominal examination on a patient who presented with a rash that was visible because of the clothing she was wearing. The woman alleges Dr Coleman placed one hand under her waistband, touching her pubic area.