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Doctor sentenced following sexual offence conviction

Custody image of Nicholas Chapman
Nicholas Chapman

A GP has been sentenced following his conviction for attempting to engage in sexual activity without consent.

Dr Nicholas Chapman, 55, of Taunton, was tried at Gloucester Crown Court after being accused of adding his semen to hot drinks he made for a woman on several occasions in 2021.

He denied putting the semen in the coffee, but on Thursday 15 June a jury found him guilty of one count and acquitted him of a second, similar charge.

His Honour Judge Rupert Lowe addressed Chapman as he handed him a 12-month community order and told him he will be required to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He said: “Mr Chapman, you are an intelligent professional of previous good character with good references. However, people did not know what you did in private.

“Your defence at trial was absurd and unnecessary. Your claims were implausible and contradictory.

“You told the police a ridiculous story of having semen on your hand and admitted to masturbating at work.

“You then shifted your story about testing for a medical condition.

“The truth is, you masturbated at work as you had a high sex drive. The impact on your career and personal life has been considerable. You have brought that on yourself.”

In addition to the community order, Chapman will be subject to a 10-year restraining order preventing from contacting the victim and a five-year notification order. He will also have to pay court costs of £3,500.

During the trial, the court heard that after becoming suspicious of Chapman, the woman kept a sample of one drink he made.

She reported the incidents to the police in September 2021 and, when tested, the sample was confirmed as semen with a DNA match to the doctor.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave a victim impact statement to the court following the conviction.

In it she said: “I feel betrayed by him, by his actions. He has made me feel powerless. The devious and cowardly nature has shocked me. If this was a physical attack I may have at least had a chance to defend myself. I’ve had to be open about this to my partner and family, but I often feel alone and that no one quite understands.

“I hope in the future I am able to put this all behind me and move on with my life. Though I have to accept that the mental and emotional trauma I have suffered throughout this will always remain with me in some way.”

Detective Sergeant Rachel Walls, one of the investigation team, said: “This has been a long process for the victim. Despite the negative effect of the offence on her wellbeing she has bravely supported our investigation throughout. I hope that the sentence imposed by the court today will help her start to recover.”

Gemma Kneebone, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS South West Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: “Nicholas Chapman was convicted of an unusual and vulgar offence against a person he knew.

“By putting his semen into a cup of coffee in the hope that someone he had targeted would drink it, he betrayed a common gesture of kindness for his own sexual gratification. His actions have had a far reaching and profound impact on others.”

Officers kept the NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group informed to ensure appropriate safeguarding measures were in place from the start of their enquiries.