Six months in jail for fondling doctor

A patient who fondled a doctor’s breast while being treated for a gum disease at the San Fernando General Hospital was yesterday sent to prison for six months.

Michael Bhagaloo, 25, of Rio Claro, who was born with a congenital disorder, pleaded guilty in the San Fernando Magistrates Court to the charge of indecently assaulting the doctor.

Bhagaloo went to the hospital seeking treatment for periodontal (gum) disease on April 4.

According to the facts, read by prosecutor Cleyon Seedan, around 2 pm that day, the doctor went to the nearby San Fernando CID where she reported the incident. She told police she was attending to a man named Michael, whom she had known previously at the Accident and Emergency Department when he assaulted her.

She reported that Bhagaloo told her ‘Yuh getting fat and yuh breast getting big’ and then fondled her left breast. The charging officer, PC Piper, along with other officers accompanied the doctor to the hospital where she identified Bhagaloo to them. When confronted by the police, Bhagaloo said, “Yes officer, I touch she but I tell she sorry.”

The prosecutor said the doctor was assaulted while she was performing her duties. He said the incident has left the doctor traumatised as she is now fearful of being assaulted by other patients.

Asking for leniency, attorney Annalee Girwar said Bhagaloo was sorry and had never before been charged with a criminal offence. She said he receives a disability grant from the Government since he is unable to work due to a number of congenital effects, inclusive of, but not limited to, having no nails on his fingers and toes and no teeth. He said Bhagaloo’s family also suffer from genetic defects.

Girwar said Bhagaloo had limited education having only attained primary school level education, the quality of which was affected due to his condition.

In sentencing him to jail with hard labour, First Court Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine said women needed to be treated with respect. Just last month another man Fayad Ali, 31, a construction worker, was also sentenced to six months in jail by the same magistrate for squeezing a woman’s breast at High Street, San Fernando.

Source: www.guardian.co.tt (Sascha Wilson)

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