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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 September, 2003, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Psychiatrist 'misled' 13-year-old
Princess Margaret Hospital
Dr Eastgate is a consultant in Swindon

A child sex abuse expert has criticised a psychiatrist who is accused of leading a 13-year-old patient to believe she was sexually abused.

Professor Harry Zeitlin said at a hearing that Dr John Eastgate should not have prompted the girl with "leading questions".

The professor told the General Medical Council in London this line of questioning could have led the girl to believe she was a "victim".

Dr Eastgate should have proceeded with extreme caution, he said.

The girl, identified as Miss A, then claimed she had been indecently assaulted by a medical professor before going on to make similar allegations against three other people, including her father.

Dr Eastgate, a consultant at Swindon's Princess Margaret Hospital, denies serious professional misconduct.

Sex abuse

He is accused of making inappropriate and unprofessional comments relating to Professor X, who allegedly indecently assaulted Miss A.

It is alleged that Dr Eastgate told Miss A he was concerned that Professor X "may have done it to other children as well".

Dr Eastgate is further accused of contacting police and social services about Miss A's allegations, without first sharing his concerns with the girl's parents.

He allegedly failed to keep a verbatim account of his interviews with Miss A on seven occasions after the allegations were first made.

Professor Zeitlin, an adolescent psychiatrist and child sex abuse expert, said Dr Eastgate had not made "sound clinical judgment" when reporting Miss A's allegations to police and social services, which were contrary to guidelines at the time.

According to Dr Eastgate's notes, Miss A first made her allegations on 9 July, 1996, when she described how Professor X had stroked her breasts and touched her in intimate places on a number of occasions.

The hearing continues.




SEE ALSO:
Psychiatrist 'may have misled girl'
01 Sep 03  |  Wiltshire


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