A NEWCASTLE doctor accused of more than 60 counts of sexual and indecent assault has a tendency to have a sexual interest in his female patients, Newcastle District Court has heard.
And it is that tendency, Crown prosecutor Paul Marr said during the final stages of his two-week closing address on Tuesday, that will allow the jury to get inside Dr Jeremy Coleman’s mind when considering their verdicts and help them when examining the evidence of each of the 45 patients who made allegations against him.
“Dr Coleman has a tendency to act in a certain way,” Mr Marr said. That tendency, the Crown says, is to have a sexual interest in his female patients and that has manifested itself in him examining female patients for sexual purposes. He shows that sexual interest through his conduct and his deeds. Provided you are satisfied about this tendency you are entitled to say to yourself “I know what Dr Coleman was thinking”… and it may inform you when it comes to considering the evidence of other complainants.”
And while much of the evidence in Dr Coleman’s nine-month trial has dealt with the issue of “proper medical purpose”, Mr Marr encouraged the jury to “look at the man behind the stethoscope”.
“We are speaking of a man here,” Mr Marr said. Jeremy Michael Stafford Coleman. The stethoscope he wears is part and parcel of his occupation. He is not entitled to hide behind his status as a doctor.”
Finally, after hours spent summarising the case, Mr Marr urged the jury to convict on every count.
“You’ve had the privilege of hearing from [the patients] who came to [Dr Coleman] for help,” Mr Marr said. Who told you the truth of their experiences. The Crown submits you will apply the following principles; civility, courtesy, common sense and courage. Adopting the courage that is within you, you can convict Jeremy Coleman.”
Dr Coleman, 64, a well-known Newcastle general physician, allergy and immunology specialist, has pleaded not guilty to more than 60 counts of sexual and indecent assault against 45 female patients between 1989 and 2013.
Defence barrister, Pauline David, will begin her closing address on Wednesday.