Doctor not guilty of sexual assault

AFTER a three-year ordeal, including an aborted trial in Lismore in March, Goonellabah GP Prasanna Mishra was found not guilty in the Coffs Harbour District Court last week of two sexual assault charges.

The doctor's defence team declined to comment on the verdict following the two trials that saw colleagues and patients flocking to the GP's defence after he was accused of sexually assaulting a patient at the Goonellabah Medical Centre in November, 2008.

Dr Mishra vigorously denied the charges from the outset and records from the medical centre contradicted testimony from his accuser, who was being treated at the time for depression.

A non-publication order on the accuser's identity remains in place.

The first trial in Lismore took a dramatic turn in March when Judge James Black aborted it after hearing from the prosecutor in closed court.

Judge Black discharged the jury after the Crown prosecutor had relayed new information that the judge said required further investigation.

"There are many reasons why juries have to be discharged; it is a most unfortunate situation but I have no other option," he said at the time.

During the Lismore trial, Lismore pediatrician Dr Chris Ingall gave a glowing character reference for Dr Mishra, describing him as "a rank above other practitioners in the main".

Dr Ingall also said he found Dr Mishra an "insightful, empathetic and an able doctor".

Former Goonellabah Medical Centre practice manager Paul Campbell, who gave evidence about protocols and practices of the centre, expressed deep admiration for Dr Mishra.

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