Healthcare Worker In Court On Rape Charge

A healthcare worker has appeared in court charged with rape and sexual assault following an alleged attack on a hospital patient.

Sajin Kunjappu Panikkassery, 29, of Langton Road, Chichester, West Sussex, has been charged with four counts of sexual assault and one of rape of a female patient at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester, on January 10.

Panikkassery, a healthcare assistant at the hospital, appeared at Worthing Magistrates' Court today (January 14th) and was remanded in custody ahead of an appearance at Chichester Crown Court on April 5, a Sussex Police spokeswoman said.

The alleged victim, a woman in her 20s, is receiving help and support and is no longer at the hospital.

Sussex Police have said they are receiving full co-operation from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.

A Trust spokesman said: ''Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust can confirm that a member of staff at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester, has been charged after being arrested by Sussex Police in connection with an alleged incident on January 10.

''The member of staff will not be working at the Trust while the investigation takes place.

''The Trust is cooperating fully with the police inquiry but is unable to make any further comment while the investigation is ongoing.''