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Police to reinvestigate historic hospital sex assault claim

APOLOGY: City Hospital

POLICE ARE to reinvestigate a man’s historic complaint that he was sexually assaulted while having treatment at a Birmingham hospital amid claims of a ‘cover up’ between officers and hospital staff.

Former British Rail employee David Allen, 46, claims he was sexually assaulted by a radiographer while having an X-ray at City Hospital 18 years ago in March 1997.

In the intervening years he says he has been made to feel ‘like a nutcase’ in his quest for justice because City Hospital initially claimed they had no evidence that he was at the hospital on that date.

Allen claims he also attempted to contact police about the case but was told no documentation was available. In July 2013, West Midlands Police’s Professional Standards Department threw out his claims that the case had not been properly dealt with.

The story was covered by The Voice in November 2013 and Allen said he was being made to feel like a victim all over again.

However, this week Detective Chief Inspector Tom Chisholm, from the force’s Public Protection Unit said: “This historic case has been raised with us and passed on to the Public Protection Unit. A review of the details of the case will take place in due course.”

Allen has also received a formal apology from City Hospital after chief executive Toby Lewis branded him ‘a vexatious complainant’ in October 2013 when he repeatedly contacted the hospital demanding information.

Lewis, who accused him of being ‘verbally aggressive’ on the phone, wrote to Allen two months later saying: “I want to offer you a formal apology for our response earlier this year that your complaints, and more particularly your approach to our complaints office, were vexatious.

“The events you outline from 1997 are disturbing and we can well understand your desire to find out information about those events. It is now clear that you did attend in March 1997.”

Mr Lewis added in his October 2013 letter: “The police questioned a radiographer following the incident but they were later released without charge. The staff member was also suspended at the time pending a disciplinary process. They were reinstated following this investigation.”

SUPPORT: Desmond Jaddoo has been advocating on Mr Allen’s (pictured from behind) behalf

The hospital has since confirmed that the radiographer is no longer registered with them, having given up his registration to practise in 2012. He is alleged to have placed his hand inside the fly of Allen’s trousers as he lay on a trolley in the X-ray department.

Community activist Desmond Jaddoo, who has been advocating on Mr Allen’s behalf and has accompanied him on three meetings with Mr Lewis, told The Voice: “In my opinion this stinks of a cover up between the police and the NHS as paperwork has now miraculously appeared after their initial denial that nothing at all happened.

“Mr Allen was made to believe he was not at the hospital, nothing happened and he had imagined it all.

“Both authorities, I believe, have failed to support Mr Allen in what should have been a victim-led investigation. Evidence shows that an incident did take place and having discussed this with a criminal lawyer, he is of the view that there is sufficient evidence for this to be tested in front of a jury.

“With many cases like this there could be other victims, so I feel it’s imperative that this case is properly assessed.”

Jaddoo added: “I also feel that Mr Allen has suffered from sex discrimination. Had he been a woman, this case would have been treated far more seriously from the outset.”

Allen said: “I’ve been made to feel like a nutcase, that I’m deluded, paranoid and vexatious. Now I just want to have justice because to this very day the impact of this sexual assault still exists for me.”

A spokesperson for City Hospital said: “We can confirm that we met Mr Allen and Mr Jaddoo over a year ago to discuss his complaint and go through our internal investigation findings. We believe the matter can only now be progressed by Mr Allen with the police service.”

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