Doctor bursts into tears as he's cleared of sexually assaulting colleagues

Dr Brian Kubwalo outside Liverpool Crown Court
Dr Brian Kubwalo outside Liverpool Crown Court -Credit:Liverpool Echo

A doctor burst into tears today as he was cleared of groping his colleagues.

Brian Kubwalo has been on trial at Liverpool Crown Court charged with sexually assaulting three fellow members of staff at Arrowe Park Hospital between 2019 and 2021. And the 56-year-old was found not guilty of all three counts by a jury this afternoon, Monday.

The unanimous verdict was delivered after two hours and five minutes of deliberations. Kubwalo was discharged from the dock then sobbed outside the courtroom as he hugged his supporters.

READ MORE: Cocaine dealer fled from court moments before he was due to be sentenced

READ MORE: Popular dock worker threw everything away for 'a quid'

Gordon Cole KC told a jury of seven men and five women during the prosecution's opening earlier this month that Kubwalo had been employed in the gynaecology and obstetrics department at the Wirral hospital, with each of the complainants having "worked with and in close proximity to Dr Kubwalo when they were touched". He was said to have touched one alleged victim's vagina over her clothing in a scan room.

Another was reportedly touched on the leg during a separate incident. Kubwalo - of Pabo Lane in Llandudno Junction, North Wales - later contacted her on Facebook after being informed of her complaint "to apologise for his banter".

In these messages, he said: "Hi, I'm sorry to have caused you distress. I was joking and just made some banter that went too far.

"I've always seen you as a good friend. Sorry."

Kubwalo is meanwhile accused of having touched the bottom of the third woman. This reportedly occurred "when they were walking from one part of the hospital to another, passing through some doors".

Under interview, he "denied that he had done anything improper" and "denied there had been any sexual activity". Of the first complainant, Kubwalo said "he had never behaved in a sexual way with her at any time" and that they "had a friendly relationship" and "exchanged banter and sometimes friendly hugs".

In relation to the second alleged assault, the defendant claimed that he and the co-worker in question "always had a good working relationship, which he described as including banter and appropriate friendliness". Kubwalo also "maintains that he was not apologising for any sexual assault" in the Facebook messages "as no assault did happen".

Of the third woman, he "effectively takes issue with this allegation, as she never raised the touching with him immediately as it occurred". Mr Cole continued: "He said he would have expected her to have confronted him immediately, had anything like that happened.

"He says he was sociable to her and she towards him. He said they had a good working relationship, and he would have expected her to raise any issues with him."

Mr Cole told jurors that "one of the issues that might arise is whether there has been any collusion between one or more of the complainants". But he added: "The position of the crown is a simple one.

"We say that these allegations are true allegations. We say that each amounts to a criminal offence, and we say that the evidence is sufficient to prove to you so that you are sure that Dr Brian Kubwalo is guilty of these charges."

Kubwalo, who was described as "creepy" by one of the complainants during her evidence, admitted to the jury from the witness box that he had given "friendly shoulder massages" to colleagues and made "cheeky" remarks". However, he added: "It was just banter."

His counsel Anesta Weekes KC asked him: "What sort of person are you at work?"

Kubwalo replied: "I'm a very open minded, friendly person. I get on with most people. I do not have enemies, I don’t have any issues. I have a laugh and I put people at ease to facilitate my work."

Ms Weekes continued: "Are you friendly with everybody?"

Kubwalo said: "In practice, not necessarily. There is not anyone I can say I'm unfriendly with. Some people may be more aloof and not want to engage. But I'm friendly with most people."

Kubwalo, who is originally from Malawi and began working at Arrowe Park Hospital in 2009, was asked about claims that he had massaged the shoulders of his colleagues. The married dad-of-two said of this: "Yes, it is true. It tends to be something people would ask. It’s usually just two or three people overall."

Kubwalo said that one of these people was the complainant whose genitalia he is alleged to have touched, with the massages having happened "once or twice" in a reception area. When asked whether he had "instigated" this, he responded: "It would be when we were chatting.

"Normally, she would have indicated that her shoulders were stressed or tense. That’s why I gave a friendly shoulder massage."

Kubwalo stated that another woman had requested a massage after approaching him and saying: "Brian. I've heard you give good massages."

Ms Weekes also questioned him on the topic of "gossip". Kubwalo said: "There is a saying in maternity, people call midwives mad wives.

"They sit down in between having had a stressful delivery and would talk about a lot of things. Gossip tends to be people who know each other outside of work.

"There is also a lot of banter that happens between them. They would discuss other colleagues or what’s going on."

Ms Weekes put to him: "Does it touch on anything personal or sexual?"

Kubwalo replied: "Yes. It can do."

Ms Weekes cited her client's comments under interview, when he told detectives that he was "shocked out of his skin" after allegations were made against him. Kubwalo said of this: "I’m still shocked out of my skin now, to be in the position I'm in and trying to understand what it is that I've done that warrant the things that have been alleged against me - things I would never do.

"In normal circumstances, it was appropriate. I was talking to people in a level of friendliness.

"I know colleagues who say worse things than that, and people laugh it off. To have it be reported to the police, I'd never been arrested or questioned by the police in that regard.

"That put the whole issue in a completely different context. I still feel that today.

"My life will never be the same. It’s stressful, it's affecting my family.

"This is happening over something I've not done and something I would never have done. I still feel in that sense."

Don't miss the biggest and breaking stories by signing up to the Echo Daily newsletter here