Friday, October 18, 2013

UK - Junior doctor (Hannah Farnsworth) who lied about being dragged into hospital toilets and raped says she made up claims 'so people would take her seriously'

Hannah Farnsworth
Hannah Farnsworth
Original Article



A junior doctor who claimed she was brutally raped by two men at the hospital where she worked today admitted she lied about the attacks, a medical tribunal was told.

Hannah Farnsworth, 26, alleged that she had been dragged into an office at night, threatened with a knife and injected with drugs.

The attackers were said to have tied her up with ropes, cut her with a knife and burnt her with a cigarette lighter while raping her.

But today she admitted had lied but maintained she had been the victim of two genuine attacks and had exaggerated so senior managers would take her seriously.

She told the hearing she was very distressed and upset after she was pinned down and kicked in two incidents at the hospital.

But the medic decided to 'embellish' the attacks by saying she had also been raped, sexually assaulted and also became pregnant as a result.

She said: 'The whole event was very distressing. It was a shock and I found myself more nervous, more anxious, not sleeping very well, more tearful than usual.'

'I wanted some support and to ensure I was supported I did embellish my account. I think it was a way of trying to express the distress I was feeling.'

'I didn't feel that I was entitled to feel as distressed as I did. I was worried other people might have a similar view to me, that they might feel that it was not that serious and wonder why I was not my usual self and why I was anxious and distressed.'

The medic, who qualified in 2010, added: 'I was worried that unless the attack itself had been serious that people would not take it seriously.'

The doctor, who has been in a same-sex relationship since 2005 and is expecting a baby next January, was appearing before a panel at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal in Manchester who will decide whether she is fit to continue with her career.

The hearing was told that as a result of the false complaints of rape the hospital trust launched its own investigation and spent around £10,000 to increase staff security.

The alleged incidents happened at Bassetlaw District General Hospital in Worksop, Nottinghamshire and were reported to police.

She now admits the rape allegations were false but insists she was physically attacked on two occasions, on April 1 and June 3, 2011.

She said: 'I was walking back towards the doctor's office at about 4am as it had got to a stage in the night when I was able to take a break so I was going back to the office.'

'The door had a combination lock on it and as I walked in I felt somebody's arm around my neck and shoulders and was pushed down to the ground.'

'I felt I was being held down on the ground. Somebody had pushed my head and shoulders to the ground and I felt I couldn't get away. They started kicking me.'

'I thought there must have been two [attackers]. I knew I was being held down but also being kicked to my left side, by my ribs.'

She added: 'At one point, I managed to get to my hands and knees but was quite quickly kicked back down to the floor. I felt something sharp. I felt a sharp pain in my left upper arm.'

'The kicking continued again and I did manage to get back on my hands and knees, but was kicked so that I was left facing underneath the desk to the back wall of the office. I heard the door opening and then it was quiet.'

The second alleged attack happened in the hospital car park when she was tripped and thrown to the floor before being repeatedly beaten and kicked.

When she was asked to give a full statement on July 19 after the case was passed on to the Nottinghamshire Police she retracted the allegations.

Sergeant Melanie Ball of Nottinghamshire Police, told the panel they decided not to charge the woman with wasting police time after she told them she never intended to make an official complaint.

She said: 'Fairly quickly she said she had been meaning to get in touch with us and the sexual element had not happened.'

'She maintains something happened but that she exaggerated to her colleagues. Once she said this they reported this to the police.'

She added: 'We chose not to prosecute for wasting police time.' She admits lying about the rapes but maintains certain details of the attacks did occur and denies dishonest and misleading conduct.

And she took the opportunity to apologise to former colleagues in the public gallery saying: 'I apologise for my behaviour to everybody concerned. I know it was inappropriate and I'm glad I had this opportunity to apologise in person.'

Dr Farnsworth is facing a fitness to practise hearing in Manchester where if found guilty, she could be struck off the medical register.

The hearing continues.

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