Former St George oncologist avoids jail

 Charged: John Kearsley leaves Sutherland Local Court in August. Picture: John Veage
Charged: John Kearsley leaves Sutherland Local Court in August. Picture: John Veage

Former St George doctor John Kearsley has avoided jail after being charged with indecently assaulting the daughter of a prostate cancer patient.

Kearsley, 65, was charged in July last year over the incident that occurred in 2012.

He pled guilty earlier this year.

The woman, 54,  who cannot be named for legal reasons, first contacted police about the incident in October 2015 and made a formal statement to police soon after.

According to the agreed statement of facts a meeting was organised between Kearsley and the woman to discuss her father’s health for a journal article.

The pair were due to meet at a cafe near St George Hospital on December 28, 2012, but Kearsley emailed a request to meet at his office instead.

The woman said he offered her sandwiches and a glass of champagne before taking her on a tour of the Cancer Care Clinic.

It was after the tour that he asked her ‘’Didn’t your mother have breast cancer?’’

He subsequently offered her a breast examination which she accepted.

It was soon after that he allegedly squeezed her breasts and touched her nipples.

During a sentencing hearing on Monday the court heard that Kearsley was suffering from a major depressive disorder at the time of the offences.

He was drinking heavily and was under a great deal of stress at work at the time.

However, Magistrate Michael Connell said the offence was a serious breach of trust but that Mr Kearsley had undertaken significant treatment since then.

That includes abstaining from any alcohol and twice-weekly therapy sessions.

He sentenced My Kearsley to 340 hours of community service.

Kearsley was the director of radiation oncology at St George Hospital at the time of the incident.