Hospital patient 'groped by nurse'

A private hospital patient has told jurors she was groped by a theatre nurse as she woke from breast enlargement surgery.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the male nurse took his hand away from under her gown as she started to stir in the recovery room at Washington Spire Hospital in October 2007.

The witness is one of five private patients claiming to have been sexually assaulted at the former Bupa hospital as they came round from having anaesthetic.

Staff nurse Gavin Nicholson, 56, of West Avenue, Harraton, Washington, denies six charges of sexual assault on five women between March 2007 and September 208.

He is expected to claim in his defence that the women were having "sexual hallucinations" as they recovered from the effects of anaesthesia.

The fourth alleged victim to give evidence told jurors at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday that she was sexually assaulted as she drifted in an out of sleep in the recovery room.

She told jurors; " I remember when I came round I felt someone's hand down my private parts.

"As I was waking up I just felt his hand move away from underneath the blankets."