Published: 15:18, 28 September 2011
by Keith Hunt
A disgraced family doctor is facing sentence after being convicted of sexually assaulting a woman at a Medway surgery.
But Dr Sanjay Chatterjee showed his relief on hearing a judge say he was not considering a jail sentence.
The 46-year-old married GP, of Perch Close, Larkfield, Maidstone, was found guilty of one charge of sexual assault but cleared of six other charges of sexual assault and one of assault by penetration involving another woman.
Chatterjee denied all the charges and claimed he was having an affair with the woman concerned in the seven charges he was acquitted of.
Adjourning sentence for reports until after October 31, Judge Charles Macdonald QC said he would be considering "a suitable community penalty".
Prosecutor Lesley Bates said the woman at first felt uncomfortable about the Indian-born father-of-two standing close to her.
He then put his hand on her buttock and she thought it best to ignore it. But a little later he did the same thing.
"She realised twice was no accident," said Miss Bates.
On another occasion, he grabbed the woman by the shoulders, leaned forward and tried to kiss her. She shrugged him off and complained.
A senior doctor wrote to Chatterjee setting out the complaint. He replied in an email that the incident was true.
"He described it as a one-off and said it would never happen again," said Miss Bates. "It was unqualified acceptance of it with no scope for misunderstanding."
In the charges involving the other woman, the prosecution alleged Chatterjee, whose wife is an NHS manager, used his position to wield power over her and threatened her not to tell anybody.
He was accused of molesting the woman on several occasions, committing a serious sex act on her and exposing himself to her.
Miss Bates said the woman was particularly vulnerable because the GP knew she was having an affair at the time.
She came forward after the other woman made an official complaint.
Judge Macdonald said guidelines indicated the starting point for sentence was a community order.
Granting unconditional bail, he added he would need to know from a probation report whether the public needed to be protected from the GP.