THE defence lawyer for a former Bracknell GP on trial charged with a string of indecent assaults suggested to an alleged victim that she had misremembered the incident.

Michael Rawlinson is defending Stephen Cox who has been charged with eight counts of indecent assault on seven different women between 1990 and 1997 and is currently on trial at Reading Crown Court.

The retired 62-year-old, now of Marton, Welshpool in Shropshire, used to work at Ralph Rides Surgery now known as the Waterfield Practice - he denies all the allegations.

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In the cross-examination of one of the alleged victims, Mr Rawlinson suggested she has misremembered the nature of the exam due to the way she had described the incident.

She had an appointment with Cox in 1989 after a road accident and believed she had broken her ribs. She accused Cox of ‘tweaking her nipples’ through her bra and asking ‘does it hurt?’ after examining her rib cage on both sides and working his way up.

But Mr Rawlinson pointed out that the witness had used different words to describe the way Cox had allegedly touched her in court compared to her police statement.

He said: “[You say] he took hold off your nipples…I have to suggest that didn’t happen. You told the police something different in your witness statement. You don’t describe anything in the police statement about grabbing or twisting or it hurting, why not?”

The witness responded: “I don’t know why I didn’t say that it hurt but everything else [in the statement] is the same.”

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Mr Rawlinson continued: “It was a very long time ago I understand that but there is a difference between someone twisting and someone grabbing and twisting. The reality is you can’t exactly remember the nature of what happened.”

However, the witness said she believed ‘tweaking and twisting’ to mean the same thing, adding that she didn’t believe the action to be necessary medically regardless.

“I hadn’t made a complaint about having sore nipples,” she said. “He had gone to the upper ribs and I said there was no pain. I don’t find that to be necessary with the complaint that I had.”

When asked by Tahir Khan, prosecuting, how confident she was that the incident had happened as she described, the witness responded saying she was ‘100 per cent' sure.

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Previously, Mr Khan said that expert doctor Martin Shutkever’s opinion is that there would be no medical explanation for the ‘manipulation’ of the nipples if the account is accurate.

The trial continues.