A WOMAN has told jurors how she was sexually assaulted by a nurse as she was waking up in hospital after breast enlargement surgery.
The patient, who cannot be identified, had undergone the operation at the Washington Spire hospital in 2008.
She told Newcastle Crown Court it was when she was coming round from the anaesthetic after the procedure, she realised she was being molested.
Nurse Gavin Nicholson, 57, who worked in the recovery room at the hospital, is accused of sexually assaulting five patients who had been admitted for surgery in 2007 and 2008.
He denies all charges and claims the women’s ordeals were “hallucinations” brought on by the effects of anaesthetic.
One of the alleged victims told jurors yesterday her breast surgery went well, but it was in the recovery room she realised things were not right.
The woman said: “I can remember hearing a voice and not being able to move.
“It was a strange feeling of being aware things were going on around me and not being able to do anything about it.
“There was a hand between my legs.
“It lasted for a few seconds.
“I was very shocked and confused at what was happening to me, no-one should have been down there. I was having breast surgery.
“I just didn’t understand why anyone would be down in that area.”
A second patient, who also cannot be named, told jurors she suffered a similar ordeal when her breast was groped while she was in the recovery room following a procedure to her ear.
She told the court: “He put his hand underneath the sheet and underneath the gown and started to grope me.”
The woman said the hand was quickly pulled away whenever another member of staff entered the room, then was put back when the other person left.
“The female walked away and he did it again and again and again.
“Each time he would pull his hand away when the footsteps came nearer, and then when they walked away he would put it straight back.
“I couldn’t move my hands or my arms.
“I could only move my eyes, the only thing I could do was look at him.”
Nicholson, a former RAF policeman, of West Avenue, Harraton, denies any wrongdoing.