A RETIRED GP on trial charged with the indecent assault of seven patients had said the allegations ‘are not true’.

Stephen Cox, now of Marton, Welshpool in Shropshire, has been charged with eight counts of indecent assault on seven different women at a Warfield surgery between 1990 and 1997.

The 62-year-old worked at Ralph Rides Surgery in Bracknell, which is now known as the Waterfield Practice, more than two decades ago. During this time, it is alleged he committed a range of sexual offences which he denies.

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The defence has started their case at Reading Crown Court which saw Cox enter the witness box for the first time.

He started his evidence by saying that the allegations ‘are not true’ and due to the ‘passage of time’ he has no specific recollection of the any of the patients who have given evidence against him.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have alleged that Cox touched their breasts inappropriately with one woman claiming he ‘tweaked’ her nipples.

Michael Rawlinson, defending Cox, asked the retired GP to explain what would happen when breast examinations would take place and why they were done.

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Cox explained that pregnant woman had their breasts checked during ‘booking examinations’.

He said: “A breast examination was considered good practice by the people who taught me how to look after maternity during pregnancy.

“There can be many things happening in a patient’s body - the breasts change considerably. Cancer develops quickly during pregnancy in some people so at the time it was an opportunity to screen for cancer.”

Cox said he was taught how to do breast examinations as a medical student and then further during his position as a junior doctor.

“[Examinations] include pressing with the flat part of the hand gently into each breast, which is divided into four, to isolate any lumps or bumps.

“Examinations of the nipples would be part of the breast examination including gentle tipping of the hand on the nipples.”

When ask by Mr Rawlinson whether the bra would need to be removed during these examinations, Cox said it was considered ‘good practice’.

“It depends,” he said. “But good practice was that the bra should always be removed.”

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The court then heard how Cox would record these examinations on different cards, such as the ‘cooperation card’, before medical records were computerised in the mid 1990’s.

The trial, which is expected to last about three to four weeks, continues.