‘Sexual assault’ nurse struck from profession

A NURSE who sexually assaulted a stroke victim has been kicked out of the profession.

Vijaya Kumar, 52, assaulted the man as he lay in the stroke unit at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital.

The man, referred to as patient A, was simply too weak to fight the Indian nurse off, the Nursing and Midwifery Council in London was told.

A year later, he assaulted another stroke victim known as patient B while showering him in February 2008.

A case against Kumar, who has been registered as a nurse in the UK since 2004, was abandoned by the Crown Prosecution Service after patient A died.

But an NMC panel found Kumar guilty of repeatedly assaulting patient A by performing a sex act on the man without his consent in summer 2006.

The nurse was also found to have performed sex acts upon patient B in February 2008.

Panel chairman Franklyn Baker noted that the incidents took place 18 months apart, and the victims did not know each other. He said it was ‘totally unlikely’ that both would independently make up very similar stories.

Mr Baker added: “A striking off order is the only order which is sufficient to protect patients and the wider public interest.”

Patient A told police that he was approached by Kumar in the early hours of the morning one night during his stay at the hospital. He said he removed his pyjama bottoms before performing a sex act on him. Kumar then left him naked from the waist down before returning on a further three occasions that night to repeat the assault, the panel heard.

When interviewed by police, Kumar denied any wrongdoing and is said to have claimed that he had been ‘cleaning’ Patient A’s groin and that the latter may have misunderstood what was happening.

Meanwhile, he said he had simply helped undress Patient B before leaving him alone in a shower cubicle and denied having performed a sex act on him as well.

He returned frequently to the man’s bedside to ask ‘if he was OK’, to apologise and to ask for his telephone number.

The panel, which concluded its findings on Wednesday, noted that he was so scared as a result of what happened that he ensured he was admitted to another hospital when he was taken ill some time later.

Nicola Fleck, for the NMC, said Kumar’s actions ‘equate to sexual abuse of patients in his care’.

She said: “There is clear evidence of planning in this case – the assaults took place when alone with a patient on a night shift or in the shower when no one else was around.”

She added: “This is a registrant who preyed on vulnerable male patients when they needed his help to care for them.”

Kumar, who previously lived in Boston, but has since registered a Manchester address with the NMC, did not attend the three-day central London hearing and did not formally enter a plea to the charges.