Published: 14:00, 18 December 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
by Dan Bloom
A hospital anaesthetist has today been cleared of inappropriately touching three women.
Jurors took just over six hours to clear Senthil Gopalakrishnan, 42, of nine sexual assault allegations at Canterbury Crown Court.
Gopalakrishnan, who worked at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital and the William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, wiped his eyes as the verdicts were delivered.
It followed a week-long trial in which three women claimed Dr Gopalakrishnan, a respected Fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, hugged and touched them inappropriately.
One woman, a hospital worker, claimed she called police because she was afraid her bosses would "brush the matter under the carpet".
But the Indian-born doctor, of Bingley Court, Canterbury, maintained his innocence saying he did not understand the British culture around hugs.
The court heard he told police: "I still don't know if I'm doing it right" - referring to hugging.
Later, he told them: "In a hospital there are lots of stories and gossip that can ruin and damage people's reputation."
His wife of 14 years, a consultant paediatrician, said after the verdict: "We knew he was not guilty right from the beginning.
"If the hospital had investigated in the beginning it wouldn't have been extended to this point, we wouldn't have needed to be here."
Dr Gopalakrishnan said after the verdict: "I'm very relieved."
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.