news

Newcastle doctor charged with sexual and indecent assault of female patients

By Dan Cox and Giselle Wakatama

A Newcastle doctor charged with sexually abusing several patients currently has conditions placed on his registration, including not to treat any women without a chaperone.

Jeremy Michael Stafford Coleman, 63, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, four counts of indecent assault, and an act of indecency.

Police said six female patients were sexually and indecently assaulted by the immunologist during consultations at a specialist clinic on Watt Street, Newcastle.

The women were aged between 24 and 55.

Police Inspector Trevor Shiels said a team of investigators honed in on Coleman, after receiving complaints.

“Strike Force Yatala was formed a while ago, after a number of women came forward and made complaints to police in relation to sexual acts and indecent acts performed against them,” Inspector Shiels said.

Last week officers searched the clinic, seizing documents and a computer.

Coleman was this morning granted conditional bail and will face Newcastle local court on April 7.

He currently has conditions attached to his registration by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) including not to consult, treat, interview or examine any female patient in any location, including in his consultation rooms, hospital, nursing home or on house calls, unless a chaperone is continuously present.

Inspector Shiels said the investigation is ongoing.

“Anyone with concerns or information should come forward and speak with detectives,” he said.

“Detectives have received a number of calls today but certainly, I would encourage anyone with information to come forward.

“They are serious allegations, and any victim who has concerns about the way that they have been treated can contact detectives.”

Inspector Shiels said the alleged assaults took place between 2003 and 2012.

“I won’t go on to limit any timeframe, and we’re certainly happy to hear from victims or witnesses outside of that timeframe, or anyone with information,” he said.

00:00 / ???