Dr Udodiri Okpara, 48, left the nurse feeling ‘shocked and violated’ after a series of unwanted encounters over two years at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff
A lecherous A&E doctor ‘obsessed’ with a nurse’s bottom repeatedly groped her, asked her for hugs and offered to buy her underwear, a tribunal has heard.
Udodiri Okpara, 48, left the woman ‘shocked and violated’ after a series of unwanted encounters over two years at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
The married doctor is accused of putting his hands down the nurses trousers, making sexually suggestive comments and leering at her from behind.
She initially did not report her senior colleague but after confiding in colleagues filed a complaint to the General Medical Council.
The alleged incidents occurred between May 2014 and August 2016 whilst Okpara, of Thamesmead, south London, was working as a locum in the A&E department.
During one incident the nurse was bent over taking blood from an elderly patient when Okpara drew a curtain around the cubicle and stood directly behind her so his groin touched her backside, it was said.
In another, when the woman was disposing of dirty laundry in a sluice room, Okparia allegedly came up behind her, put one hand down her trousers and placed his other hand on her waist whilst commenting her underwear and smelling her hair.
As the unnamed nurse, known as Miss A, tried to fight off Okpara, he was said to have made ‘groaning noises’ and added: ‘Please just a little longer – it’s ok – you just have this effect on me.’
Miss A told the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester: ‘He started touching my bottom – if we were stood around a place where I could not move, he would sometimes rest his hand there for around 30 seconds to a minute.’
‘He was a colleague but he made me feel very uncomfortable – I would either just look at him or move my legs but he would move his legs again.
‘If I was bent over he would be looking at me, if I was turned around with a patient when I turned back he would be looking at my bottom.’
Explaining why she did not react in the moment, she said: ‘I just tried to remain professional as I did not want to burden anyone or ruffle any feathers.
The alleged incidents occurred between May 2014 and August 2016 whilst Okpara, of Thamesmead, south London, was working as a locum in the A&E department
‘I thought it was a situation where it was a guy fancying me, just being flirty and it was no reciprocating and thought it would just go.’
She added: ‘Dr Okpara gave me his phone number on occasions but I put it straight in the bin.
Dr Okpara flew to Chicago in 2015 and did not work at the hospital for several months but the tribunal heard when he returned he resumed his behaviour.
She said: ‘He started making comments about buying gifts. We were in “resus” and he wanted to buy me underwear.
‘In the sluice room I was carrying bed sheets when Dr Okpara came in and got me from behind. He started to smell my neck and put his right hand down my trousers and his left hand was still holding me.
‘He touched my bum and I was wearing a thong at the time. This lasted for about 5 seconds, it was long enough that it was like a proper grope. I just froze.’
Adding: ‘I quickly left. I considered reporting it but at the time I felt so violated, embarrassed and ashamed that I did not.
‘It was not easy to tell my colleagues about what Dr Okpara had done, when I did I felt embarrassed, ashamed and uncomfortable.’
The nurse told a colleague and made a statement to the GMC. She did not report the matter to police as she did not want to be a complainant in a criminal case.
In a charge sheet the GMC allege Okpara would tell the nurse he ‘liked her bottom’ and was ‘obsessed with her bottom.’
Married Okpara denies sexually motivated misconduct. The hearing in Manchester continues
While in a relatives’ room at the hospital, it is said Okpara shut and blocked the door, asked for a hug and then ignored her pleas to stop saying: ‘If you give me a hug, I’ll let you out.’
Counsel for the GMC Miss Laura Barber said: ‘Dr Okpara persisted a course of sexually-motivated misconduct which began with facial expression and gesture, but developed much further.
‘She says it was an escalating pattern of behaviour in which he would make inappropriate comments about her bottom and he would then find ways to make inappropriate physical contact with her.
‘Dr Okpara does accept that he sent a private message to Miss A stating ‘thanks gorgeous’ at 2:37am but this was not the only message he sent Miss A.
‘Dr Okpara did approach and asked to talk. Miss A agreed but stood close to the door of a room where they were.
‘He asked her to accept an apology from him and to shake hands. He said that they both had ‘too much to lose’.
Okpara denies sexually motivated misconduct. The hearing continues.
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