Bearsden nurse found guilty of sexual assault against female colleague at East Kilrbide's Hairmyres Hospital

A Bearsden nurse has been convicted of fondling a colleague as they worked in a busy hospital ward.

The female victim told a court she "froze" when Andrew Cassels "massaged" her buttock while she wrote patient notes.

Cassels, 36, of Ledcameroch Park, was found guilty of sexual assault after trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

The incident happened at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, in November 2019.

The married victim, now aged 47, said she was about to have a break and Cassells was taking over from her when he committed the assault.

She told the court: "I was writing up my patient notes before the handover.

"He came up behind me and I felt his hand on my buttock. He massaged or touched me in a circular motion three times.

"I felt frozen. I don't know how long it lasted but it felt like forever. I was in total shock and couldn't believe what had happened."

The woman said she was upset but continued working because "people behind me in the ward were ill and you carry on doing your job".

She said it was several months before she went to the police, adding: "It's such a big thing to comprehend. It was a very difficult decision to make and I needed time to come to terms with it."

Cassels flatly denied any wrongdoing and defence solicitor Frank Moore accused the woman of making up the allegation.

He said: "This was a busy area with at least four members of staff present plus patients.

"Why did you not ask what he was doing or slap him on the face instead of carrying on a conversation with him about patients?"

The woman replied: "Because I'm a professional registered nurse and it's my job to do that."

After finding Cassels guilty, Sheriff Michael Higgins put him on the sex offenders' register and deferred sentence until next month.

Cassels now faces being struck off the nursing register.

Although he had been allowed to continue working while awaiting trial, his conduct has been subject to regular review.

Following his conviction it's expected he will appear before the Nursing and Midwifery Council's fitness to practice committee.

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