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Woman told to ignore 'indecent assault' by heart surgeon, court hears

A woman complained to a hospital manager about being indecently assaulted by an internationally respected heart surgeon only to be told to ignore it, a court has heard.

She broke down during her police interview as she recalled a nine-month ordeal where consultant surgeon Mohamed Amrani allegedly indecently assaulted her several times.

In the interview, which was played to a jury at the Old Bailey, she said: "I feel I made it very clear that I had been sexually assaulted by Mr Amrani."

She said the manager firmly told told her to "just ignore him, he does it to everyone".

Amrani, 53, who worked at the Harefield Hospital in west London, denies six counts of indecent assault, two counts of assault by penetration, one count of rape and two counts of sexual assault.

Amrani, of Harrow, west London, is accused of attacking five women between 2001 and 2014, believing he was too powerful to be challenged.

Upset and in a shaking voice, one alleged victim told the court that she had been made to feel "powerless".

She told the jury: "(I had) mixed feelings of incredulity that this was something that was known about... and (I) was expected to ignore it.

"It made me powerless about what to do next and how to deal with it."

She told the jury the manager did not ask for details about her accusation but came back with a "firm" response to ignore it.

Amrani has performed a string of life-saving operations around the world and hit the headlines in 2007 when he performed the UK's first double heart valve replacement using keyhole surgery.

In her police interview the woman spoke of her "total shock and surprise" after Amrani allegedly pounced on her without warning and grabbed her breasts.

She also told police of a "horrible" incident where Amrani allegedly touched her vagina through her clothes.

She said she shouted his name "very loudly" and added he looked very agitated and left quickly.

Asked by officers if she had given Amrani consent for anything that allegedly happened, she said: "Absolutely, categorically not."

She said she feared her complaint would "not be taken seriously" against such a well-respected consultant and she resorted to trying to just avoid him.

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