Norfolk doctor admits sexually assaulting 13 police officers

Police News

Police News

A Norfolk doctor previously convicted of child rape and sexual assault has today admitted 13 further sexual offences against women in Norfolk, all of which took place more than a decade ago.

Dr Hugh O’Neill is currently serving a 12 year jail term for rape and sexual assault convictions, which involved two girls under the age of 14, after being sentenced at the end of January last year.

The latest indictments of indecent assault relate to his professional role and the victims include 13 female police officers at Norfolk Constabulary where O’Neill was Force Medical Advisor between 1991 and 2003.

O’Neill will be sentenced on Monday (April 18) at Norwich Crown Court.

Following advice given to the Constabulary from the East of England Crown Prosecution Service, O’Neill was charged with the indecent assaults on women aged over 16, each relating to different women, on dates between January 13 1991 and January 22 2001.

Detective Superintendent Kathryn Thacker, who led the enquiry, said: “It’s now clear O’Neill was a sexual predator who operated in plain sight for a number of years.

“These pleas follow a detailed and sensitive investigation which began in 2014. O’Neill was clearly a repeat offender who abused his position of power for his own gratification.

“It was incredibly brave for the victims to come forward and speak to officers as his abuse has had a lasting effect on them all. During the enquiry, we have, and will continue to, offer them a range of support as we would do with all victims of crime.

“I hope today’s pleas provide some level of closure and allows each victim to move on positively with their lives.”

She added: “In respect of his role as the Force Medical Advisor, the Constabulary has commissioned a Professional Standards investigation into the previous enquiries in 1993 and 2002 to determine if any lessons can be learned by the Constabulary around this. This enquiry continues.”

An investigation was launched by the Safeguarding and Investigations Command in July 2014 after officers were contacted by a victim who had made a historical allegation of gross indecency.

On January 30, 2015, O’Neill was sentenced to 12 years after admitting two counts of rape and one count of gross indecency against one victim who was under the age of 14 at the time of the offences, and two counts of gross indecency against a second victim, also aged under 14. The offences had taken place between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2002.

The first case prompted a reinvestigation of a number of previous allegations made between 1991 and 2003 which did not, at the time and following consultation with CPS, lead to criminal prosecution.

The matter was referred by the Constabulary to the IPCC who determined a local investigation was appropriate.

To maintain independent scrutiny, this investigation is being led by another force, assisted by the Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department.