Osteopath: My methods were proper

AN Ipswich osteopath accused of attempted rape and sexual and indecent assaults against female patients told a court that his methods were proper osteopathic techniques.

AN Ipswich osteopath accused of attempted rape and sexual and indecent assaults against female patients told a court that his methods were proper osteopathic techniques.

Owen Bull, 49, formerly of Woodbridge Road, denied touching any of his patients in an unprofessional or inappropriate way.

Defending Bull, barrister George Heimler asked him if there were osteopathic procedures which included carrying out an intimate internal examination of the genital area.

Bull replied that such procedures are used in osteopathy but personally he avoided it as he considered it too invasive.

He said: “I have had patients which in my opinion required that treatment, but I have always referred them on.”

However he said he would perform massage on the area above the pubic bone to treat certain conditions, but only with explicit consent from the patient.

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He also admitted to using massage oils in his therapy, which he said was not a typical osteopathic technique but something he had learned while training as a masseur.

He said: “None of my patients have ever complained about the use of massage oils and the methods I use have had positive effects.

“There was no sexual motive.”

Bull took the stand as the defence began its case in the trial at Norwich Crown Court, where the osteopath is charged with three counts of indecent assault, three counts of sexual assault and one count of attempted rape.

However before he could be questioned on the specific allegations made against him by seven women, aged 30 to 77, the trial was adjourned due to one of the jurors complaining of feeling unwell.

Earlier in the trial, the court heard from Christopher Paxton, prosecuting, that the women had variously claimed he had asked them to undress in inappropriate situations, fondled and licked their breasts and in the case of the eldest complainant, attempted oral rape.

One of the alleged victims was a female undercover police officer.

The assaults were all said to have taken place between 2002 and 2005.

The trial continues.

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