Newcastle Doctor Jeremy Coleman trial: evidence in marathon hearing comes to a close

ACCUSED: Dr Jeremy Coleman, left, leaving Newcastle courthouse with his solicitor, Metin Ozmen. He is facing a lengthy sexual and indecent assault trial in Newcastle District Court. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
ACCUSED: Dr Jeremy Coleman, left, leaving Newcastle courthouse with his solicitor, Metin Ozmen. He is facing a lengthy sexual and indecent assault trial in Newcastle District Court. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

AFTER the best part of eight months of complainants alleging assaults over more than two decades and medical experts dissecting issues around “proper medical purpose”, the evidence in the marathon trial against Dr Jeremy Coleman has concluded.  

After listening to more than 150 days, or about 700 hours, of evidence, the jury will return to Newcastle District Court in two weeks to hear closing arguments from Crown prosecutor Paul Marr, defence barrister Pauline David and Judge Penny Hock. 

It is understood those detailed closing submissions could take several weeks before the jury retires to begin deliberating on its verdicts.

Dr Coleman, 64, a well-known Newcastle general physician, allergy and immunology specialist 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.

Mr Marr delivered his opening address on August 30, 2017, outlining for the jury the prosecution case, which is, essentially, that Dr Coleman did not have a “proper medical purpose” to examine the 46 women in the way he did. 

He claimed that during consultations with the 46 women Dr Coleman would shift the conversation to sex. 

“His interest was intentionally drawn to their fertility and genitalia or their sexual function as a guise, as a means, as a ruse to examine them internally,” Mr Marr said.   

“The Crown says that he didn’t have a proper medical purpose for that.”

The defence case began on March 5 this year with Dr Coleman taking the stand to give evidence, during which he told the 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 would give evidence for the next two months, first in chief, then in cross-examination and, finally, in re-examination.