Kent physiotherapist sexually assaulting women claiming it was part of treatment

Purnoor Bawa kent police
Purnoor Bawa Credit: Kent Police

A physiotherapist has been jailed after sexually assaulting clients during treatment for their injuries.

44-year old Purnoor Bawa took advantage of multiple women over a five year period, between 2013 and 2018.

On each occasion he persuaded them to remove their clothing so he could touch parts of their bodies, insisting it was part of their recovery programme.

The alarm was raised to police in December 2018, following reports he carried out an inappropriate massage on a woman during treatment for an ankle injury, at his surgery in Gravesend, Kent.

The HQ of Kent Police, the force which investigated the allegations Credit: ITV News Meridian

Bawa carried on offending despite being already under investigation by the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service and not being able to carry out work without a chaperone.

Following his arrest and subsequent release under investigation, police re-examined two previous reports of offending which did not meet the threshold to charge Bawa.

By April 2023 a total of five women had come forward and following detailed investigations into each incident there was sufficient evidence to charge.

A press release detailing the charges was issued by Kent Police at the time, resulting in two more victims coming forward to report offences committed against them.

Woolwich Crown Court Credit: PA

Bawa was sentenced to six year imprisonment after being found guilty of eight counts of sexual assault at Wooldwich Crown Court.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Peter Hylands said, "Purnoor Bawa manipulated and groomed his victims, making them think his actions were justified when in reality he was taking advantage of them for his own depraved ends.

"Each offence was committed in the privacy of Bawa’s treatment room where there were no independent witnesses, CCTV cameras or any other forms of evidence. It is therefore almost entirely down to the courage of each victim and their strength in numbers that we were able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Bawa had sexually assaulted them.

"He has shown that not only is he unfit to practice as a physiotherapist but he is also a danger to women and belongs behind bars."

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