Celebrity publicist Max Clifford was a “perfect gentlemen” and “very caring” as his daughter underwent treatment for juvenile arthritis, a medical expert has said.
Roberta Jarvis, a physiotherapist who treated Louise Clifford after she was diagnosed with the disease at the age of six, told London’s Southwark Crown Court that she never saw the PR guru act inappropriately with women.
Clifford, 70, is standing trial accused of 11 counts of indecent assault against seven girls and women – all of which he denies.
Ms Jarvis, who worked at the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital in Maidenhead, said Clifford was “very concerned” about his daughter’s therapy for arthritis which she suffered in most of her joints.
She told the court: “He was a parent of a single child. This was his daughter.
“He wanted absolutely the best for her.
“He was always very concerned about what was going on, how she was being treated and asking for information.
“He was very caring.
“Very charming. A perfect gentleman as far as I was concerned and very helpful when it came to fund-raising.”
The court heard Clifford helped raise £300,000 for a new hydrotherapy pool after services were moved to Wexham Park hospital in Slough.
The publicist arranged for swimmer Sharron Davies to pose for a photograph at the hospital which featured in national newspapers, the jury was told.
Asked by Richard Horwell QC, defending Clifford, if she ever saw Clifford act inappropriately with women, Ms Jarvis replied: “No.”
Ms Jarvis said Louise Clifford would not have been able to get out of a jacuzzi in the summer of 1983 due to the symptoms of her condition.
It was at this time Clifford is alleged to have put a 12-year-old girl’s hand on himself while they were in a jacuzzi, after his daughter had left for a period of time, during a holiday in Spain.
The woman is not a complainant in the case, as the alleged offence took place abroad, the court has heard.
Ms Jarvis said: “(Ms Clifford) would have been unstable because of the severity of the muscle wasting of the upper limbs.
“There is no way she would get a grip of that really.
“In my opinion I don’t think Louise would have been able to get in or out of the jacuzzi without assistance.”
Dr Ann Hall, a former consultant at Wexham Park Hospital who treated Ms Clifford, told the court Clifford was a “very attentive father” after they met during his daughter’s treatment.
“When I became consultant he would often meet me to discuss Louise’s progress,” she said.
“I found him friendly, larger than life, very concerned about Louise, and very helpful.”
Dr Hall said Ms Clifford would not have been able to walk more than 50 yards in the summer of 1983.
“She would basically shuffle along, absolute maximum 50 yards but probably more like 20,” Dr Hall said.
Mr Horwell asked: “What in your opinion is the prospect of Louise in the summer of 1983 getting into and out of that jacuzzi?”
Dr Hall replied: “I really don’t think she could have done that.”
The witness said Louise was suffering with arthritis in her hip, knee and ankle joints at the time and would struggle to make a fist with her hand.
She said: “She would find it impossible with just one bar to get up the steps and down the steps.
“In addition she has severe knee, hip and ankle involvement.”
She added: “Her grip was poor. I just can’t see how she could possibly get in.”
Wearing a grey blazer and pink shirt, Clifford, from Hersham in Surrey, listened to the proceedings from with the dock with the aid of a hearing loop.