Doctor jailed over child sex assaults
A junior Blackpool Victoria Hospital doctor who carried out sex attacks on young girls in the street has been jailed for 28 months.
Disgraced medic Benjamin Brooks, 27, of Nile Close, Lytham Quays, Lytham, pleaded guilty to three offences of sexual assault on three girls aged, 10, 13 and 14, and one of intimidating a witness who was 14 at the time.
Defence lawyer John Woodward said Brooks, who has had several medical papers published, had been "overstressed" and "overworked".
Preston Crown Court heard in the first incident, on November 14 at 8.15pm, a 10-year-old girl, wa stood on a street with her 12-year-old friend.
Prosecuting, Huw Edwards added: " The two girls were approached by this defendant who asked their names and ages.
"The defendant asked to walk them half way up the street but girls refused, saying were going to a nearby shop.
"As they walked away the defendant took hold of the girl by the chest and said: "Do you want to see my d**k?"
The court heard the tearful girls ran away to the shop where the assistant let them phone their parents.
The 12-year-old later told police the man had gone to pull his trousers down and was laughing.
In a second incident, on at 6.50pm on November 27 a 14-year old was with her friend, also 14, when they walked past bus stop at junction of Collingwood Avenue in Blackpool. Brooks approached them and asked which bus he needed to get, before claiming he was "new to the area" and askign them to walk with him.
Mr Edwards said: "The girls refused but he followed them, continuing to ask him questions. As they were walking away he smacked her bum. She screamed and the defendant ran away.
A lady who was close by recognised Brooks through a Facebook account.
The court heard 15 minutes after the inciden a 13-year-old girl was with her friend when Brooks asked them for directions, before shoving his hand down her top and groping the child's breast, commenting she had "nice boobs".
The defendant was arrested on November 29 at his home.
He made a prepared statement in which he said he was in "total shock" at the allegations, and strenuously denied them.
In victim impact statements, the youngest girl was said to be upset and embarrassed, and was shocked to find out he was a doctor.
Her mum said she would not go out alone, wanted her mum to be upstairs when having a bath, and suffered nightmares.
Brooks dabbed at his eyes with a hanky as defending, John Woodward said: "I ask you give Doctor Brooks the appropriate credit for his guilty pleas.
"The consequences of that is is saves the young victims giving evidence.
"Furthermore it shows the defendant is realistic and expresses contrition and remorse for what he has done.
"My lord may be mystified as to why he's committed these offences and I'm sure when reading his references it really does not seem to tie in at all with someone described as empathetic, very caring, working of his own volition, that he can do something like this.
"My lord may get a clue from his own letter where he says he was simply overstressed as a result of overworking and all the various traumas in his life
"He would leave to be there at 8am and wouldn't leave until 6pm.
"The references tell of really quite an exceptional young man. One says is truly he has acheived so much without the support and privileges which others have.
"His life has been ruined professionally. He will be dismissed. He will not be allowed to work as a doctor again. He's put so much effort into his life."
He added Brooks had been engaged but the relationship was at an end.
The Honorary Recorder of Preston, Judge Mark Brown granted restraining orders and a sexual harm prevention order restricting his access to children.
He said: "I have very much in mind all the good things said about you in the character testimonials. You are described an an excellent student and a pleasure to have worked with. As a doctor you have a professional hard working and caring approach, an individual liked and respected by patients and staff.
"In those circumstances it is very hard to understand the motivation for your offending.
"It is suggested it is because you were under immense stress at the time. I'm mindful that in recent times there have been tragedies in your life and I accept that as a junior doctor you were expected to work very long hours.
"However there's nothing really in the character testimonials, particularly from experienced medical staff, to indicate they were aware you were suffering from such a level of stress.
"It's clear that over a relatively short time, you were engaged on a small basis in a campaign of sexual assault of young girls.
"There is no doubt the case require the imposition of immediate prison sentences. This case is simply too serious."
The court heard after his release his relatives, who run a firm called Health Solutions in Widnes, will give him a full time job.
Today, an NSPCC spokesman said: “Brookes carried out appalling attacks on three vulnerable children and is now facing the consequences of his abuse. As a doctor, Brookes would have known the devastating impact such appalling assaults would have on his victims.
“His attempt to pervert the course of justice through intimidation underlines the heinous nature of his crimes.
“We hope all three of his young victims are now receiving help and support to overcome what has happened to them.
“We need to ensure that children who have been abused by predators like Brookes feel confident to come forward, safe in the knowledge that their voices will be heard.”
The NSPCC’s helpline for adults who require support is available 24 /7 and for free on 0808 800 5000. Help for children and young people is available through ChildLine on 0800 1111.