By Holly Evans - The Independent - 15.09.2023 [UK] - [Thomas Plimmer] A Cambridge-educated GP allegedly coerced a vulnerable colleague into a sexual relationship and sent her pictures of his head in a noose, a tribunal has heard.
Dr Thomas Plimmer, 40, is said to have “abused his position” and had repeatedly shown the woman videos of himself engaging in sexual acts in the consulting room of his surgery in Swindon, Wiltshire.
Identified as Colleague A, she claimed to have told him “multiple times” that she did not wish to engage in sexual activity, after setting “boundaries” that involved no physical touching.
However, he repeatedly sent her explicit messages, placed her hand on his genitals and allegedly coerced her into performing sex acts, which she claims were unwanted, the hearing was told.
Giving evidence at a General Medical Tribunal, Colleague A said: “This was a man in a position of power who I should have been able to trust who did things without consent, and that damage is now done to me. It’s completely impacted my life and how I work within healthcare.”
Dr Plimmer is accused of having sex with at least six women at his doctor’s practice, as well as sending pictures of his genitalia while at work and making threats towards three women.
Detailing an alleged catalogue of unwanted sexual advances, Colleague A said that a “light-hearted, jovial” friendship had begun after she began working at his practice and an innuendo was made about a chocolate rabbit.
From March 2018 onwards, he confided in her about his ‘sex addiction’ and allegedly “groomed” her by sending flirty messages, including one which read: “Can I tell you a secret? You’re my favourite nurse.” On one occasion when she became upset in January 2019, he led her to his consulting room to “cheer her up” before placing her hand on his genitals.
After several personal conversations in which Colleague A had divulged her own vulnerabilities, Dr Plimmer sent her text messages saying he “couldn’t carry on” and sent pictures of his head in a noose.
Colleague A said she was left “surprised and distressed” by the images and was aware it “was not okay for a senior doctor to be sending me these messages”.
Between May 2018 and September 2019, she claimed that he frequently came to her room during lunch breaks and stood in the doorway, making it “difficult to leave”. On other occasions, he would also enter the room with his trousers undone.
She told the tribunal that despite refusing to engage in sexual activity, she was “ground down to a place where I couldn’t say no”.
Dr Plimmer admitted to sending the woman explicit videos and engaging in sexual behaviour, but claims that it was “always consensual”.
After becoming distressed at work, she asked a senior colleague if she could transfer from her position and was asked if the reason behind her request involved Dr Plimmer.
Asked by his lawyer Tom Day why she had avoided reporting his behaviour and giving a full account of her alleged experience, she told the tribunal she had been “fearful of repercussions”.
In September 2019, the GP is claimed to have threatened to make disclosures to Colleague A’s husband and suggested she kill herself by saying: “On Futurama they have suicide booths. Maybe that’s what you need, you should go and do that.”
Dr Plimmer faces 16 allegations relating to Colleague A including that he touched and tried to kiss her without consent, approached her with his trousers undone and showed her a video of him having sex with another woman, while at work. He denies two allegations he penetrated the same colleague without consent, that he took his genitals out in front of her, that he slammed a door and hit her arm and threatened to disclose information to her husband.
Dr Plimmer is also accused of engaging in sexual activity during the working hours of his surgery with Miss B in January 2020 and Miss C in May 2020.
In June 2020, he is accused of engaging in non-consensual sexual activity with Miss D and threatening her after realising she was investigating him and making contact with other girlfriends.
He is also accused of making threats towards another woman, Miss F, by saying words to the effect of “if that c*** takes me to the GMC, I’ll slit her throat. I know where she lives.” He has admitted sending unsolicited pictures of his penis, taken whilst at work, to another woman known as Miss E.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Dignity4Patients, whose helpline is open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm.