Man guilty of posing as medic

A 59-year-old man yesterday confessed to posing as a gynaecologist, sexually assaulting a young woman, and conning her into paying him €4,000 for treatment at a clinic in Switzerland.

Englishman John Wilkins remained seated throughout his arraignment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

The first charge stated that, between September 11 and 20, 2014, Wilkins represented himself as a medical practitioner.

He pleaded guilty to the offence.

He was also charged with sexually assaulting a woman who was in her 20s on September 18 last year and he also admitted that offence.

Wilkins further pleaded guilty to a charge that, on September 22, he dishonestly, by deception, induced the complainant to pay €4,000 for the services he offered, namely gynaecologist services at a clinic in Switzerland, with the intention of making a gain for himself.

The case, which was investigated by Detective Garda Denis Callanan, had been due to go to trial and a jury comprising five women and seven men was sworn in on Wednesday after Wilkins had pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin had instructed the jurors to return to Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday for the commencement of Wilkins’ trial.

However, Donal O’Sullivan, defending, requested the accused be re-arraigned when the case was called. Wilkins then changed his pleas to guilty.

Judge Ó Donnabháin thanked the jurors and said that disposed of the case from their point of view.

Mr O’Sullivan applied to have sentencing adjourned.

“He is a man with physical ailments and we would like to be able to put medical reports before the court,” he said.

Mr O’Sullivan also asked for free legal aid to be extended to cover a medical report to be prepared by a doctor attending Wilkins in prison.

The judge said that no matters likely to identify the victim, such as the location of the offences, should be published but that Wilkins’s name could be disclosed in the media’s coverage of the case.

A victim impact report is also to be prepared and sentencing was adjourned until June 12, with the accused to be remanded in prison until then.

So far, no details on the background to the charges have been given.

It is anticipated that, at a later date, Det Garda Callanan will give evidence on what gave rise to the charges brought against Wilkins.

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