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Pharmacist In UK Groped Young Girl While Checking Her Blood Pressure

PTI 09 Dec 2010, 14:42:04 IST
PTI
A  pharmacist groped a teenager's breast as he checked her heartbeat, a court was told on Wednesday, reports Daily Mail, London.

Married father-of-two Roshan Lal, 56, allegedly took the 18-year-old into a consultation room where he lifted up her bra and ‘cupped' her breast as he examined her with a stethoscope.

The young woman is one of four people who claim the pharmacist of 30 years touched them inappropriately.

Lal, who was born in Delhi and moved to the UK aged seven, is also accused of slapping a woman's bottom at the pharmacy where he worked in Canvey Island, Essex, and grabbing two others' breasts – one as she leaned over to get milk from a fridge, the other when she visited his home.

Prosecutor Noel Casey told Southend Crown Court: ‘None of the touching that took place was part of a legitimate medical examination.'

Lal's alleged teenage victim claims he assaulted her after she asked him to check her blood pressure on October 25 last year. She said she went into the consultation room with Lal and an assistant, Danielle Amore, who was then called away.

‘He said “I've got to take your heartbeat first” and he undid my shirt,' said the alleged victim.

‘He said to me “I'm going to see your boobs now”. I said “I haven't got any”. I felt really embarrassed and uncomfortable, I was so nervous I didn't know what to do.'

Lal put a stethoscope on the middle of her chest, she told the jury, before moving it under her breast, lifting up her bra and putting his hand on her breast.

She said: ‘He was cupping my breast. I was really embarrassed. I kept trying to tell myself he was doing it to listen to my heart through my breast. I trusted him, I thought it must be the right way to do it.'

The teen said she buttoned her top and left after Miss Amore looked around the open door and asked: ‘What is going on?'. She said she later confided in her mother about what had happened, adding: ‘I felt really sick and a bit disgusted by it.'

Miss Amore told the court she had not seen anything untoward but added she saw the teenager the following day ‘crying and distraught'.

The first claim against Lal dates back to 2001 when it is said he touched a woman's chest in a Londis supermarket next door to the chemist, Pharma Healthcare.

In 2005 he is said to have grabbed a family friend's breasts and forced the woman, in her mid-forties, against a wall in an attack at his home.

Another woman, in her twenties, claimed Lal slapped her bottom in the pharmacy in 2007. ‘I said “What do you think you are doing?”,' she said. ‘He just smirked. I was really upset.'

Lal, of Canvey Island, denies three charges of sexual assault and one of indecent assault.

During a police interview, Lal said he ‘should have been a little more careful' but insisted he had not sought ‘sexual gratification'. But he admitted getting ‘carried away', saying: ‘I feel like I have conducted myself in an unprofessional manner.'

In court he accused the women of lying. Referring to taking the teenager's pulse, he said: ‘I could not hear anything on her arm so I said to her “Can I check your heartbeat to see if the device is working or not? I need to do it on the skin”. I went to undo a couple of buttons on her blouse.' He denied groping the teenager.

Pharmacy owner Nader Siabi told the court he fired Lal when he heard the allegation.

He said the next day he received a text message from Lal which said: ‘I can't explain my foolish action. I don't know what came over me. I just got carried away. I feel ashamed, please forgive me.'