A physiotherapist who sexually assaulted clients during treatment for their injuries has been jailed for six years by a London Court.

Purnoor Bawa took advantage of multiple women between 2013 and 2018 and continued to offend even after concerns had been raised about his conduct. On each occasion he persuaded his victims to remove their clothing so he could touch areas of their bodies that did not require treatment, insisting it was common practice and part of their recovery.

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Purnoor Bawa Image: Kent Police

In December 2018 Kent Police was called to Bawa’s place of work in Gravesend following a report he had carried out an inappropriate massage on a woman during treatment for an ankle injury. By this point Bawa was not supposed to have been working without a chaperone, as his conduct was being investigated by the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service that later banned him from practicing.

He was arrested and released pending further enquiries, which included revisiting two previous reports made against Bawa that at the time did not meet the evidential threshold for prosecution.

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

Bawa, 44, was convicted of eight counts of sexual assault following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court and sentenced on Friday 14 June 2024.

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.’

By Ed

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