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Ex-GP to serve six months’ jail
A former Bendigo doctor was jailed for six months yesterday for indecently assaulting three teenagers during internal examinations at an Arnold Street clinic.
David Frederick Miller, 63, tutted loudly as Judge Pamela Jenkins sentenced him in Bendigo County Court to a total of three years' imprisonment, 30 months of which she suspended for two-and-a-half years.
Supporting himself with a walking stick, the pensioner appeared visibly shaken as a policeman led him away.
Miller pleaded guilty on Thursday to indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 1977, a woman aged 18 or 19 in 1979 and a 16-year-old girl in 1980 when he was working as a medical practitioner at the Arnold Street Medical Clinic.
Judge Jenkins said immediate imprisonment was the only appropriate sentence.
'‘As a medical practitioner, you were in a position of trust and authority, which you grossly abused,'' she said. Miller was sentenced in December, 1983, to 15 months' jail, which was suspended after he served eight months, for indecently assaulting a 13-year-old patient.
Despite Miller's guilty plea, Judge Jenkins said the former army reserves medical officer lacked remorse and had denied his victims' allegations during his police interview.
The judge also said the women had to go through the trauma of giving evidence at Miller's committal hearings. ‘‘The victim impact statements tendered on behalf of each of your victims each demonstrated the profound adverse effect that your offending had on each of them,'' Judge Jenkins said.
The judge told Miller the cases of two of the women were aggravated by the fact that Miller knew they had already been sexually abused when he indecently assaulted them.
Miller not only abused his position by taking advantage of the vulnerable patients, he compounded the abuse, Judge Jenkins said.
She said victim impact statements tendered to the court showed they had experienced relationship difficulties, a lack of self-esteem and trust in others and had had to have counselling for long periods.
The judge noted one of the women was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Judge Jenkins said the difficulty the women had in trusting doctors and attending medical clinics because of Miller's offending could have serious ramifications. She placed the father-of-five on the sex offenders register.
Judge Jenkins recommended assessment for Miller to get treatment on sexual offender programs, particularly in regards to minors.
The judge also made an order for police to take a swab sample from Miller, who was living in a housing commission house in South Coogee, Sydney, until yesterday. Judge Jenkins reiterated the point she made on Thursday that had Miller committed the offences after changes to the legislation, he would have been charged with more serious offences.
Ex-doctor admits indecent assaults on three teenagers
A former Bendigo doctor yesterday pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting three teenagers during internal examinations at an Arnold Street clinic.
David Frederick Miller, 63, pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 1977, a woman aged 18 or 19 in 1979 and a 16-year-old girl in 1980 at the Arnold Street Medical Clinic.
Crown prosecutor Jim Bessell told Bendigo County Court Miller, who now lives in South Coogee, Sydney, assaulted the first victim when she visited the clinic on September 27, 1977.
Mr Bessell said Miller told the teenager he would do an internal examination to find out if she was pregnant, even though a test had confirmed she was not.
The court heard Miller, as he touched her, had said he would teach her how to have sex and not get pregnant.
Mr Bessell said Miller had told her she must be feeling something as he touched her, but she had said she did not.
'‘He stopped and told her she might as well get going,'' said Mr Bessell.
Medical records indicate the next offence happened on May 17, 1979, when the second victim visited the clinic with a bladder infection.
‘‘Miller said an orgasm would make it right,'' Mr Bessell said.
Mr Bessell said the teenager became tense as Miller touched her and he said she must have been a bit frigid.
Miller assaulted the third victim on January 7, 1980.
‘‘He did what he said was a breast examination, then proceeded to put his fingers inside her, Mr Bessell said.
Defence lawyer Rodney Willcox said Miller's offending required a prison sentence, but that it should be wholly suspended, perhaps for up to three years.
The Crown did not oppose this submission.
Mr Willcox said each of the three counts was a gross breach of trust on particularly vulnerable young women.
He said the then teenagers had family problems, some relating to molestation by family members.
However, Mr Willcox said Miller had not come to police attention since his release from prison in 1984.
Miller served eight months of a 15-month sentence for indecent assault involving similar offending, which happened after the matters before the court yesterday.
Miller sustained serious head injuries in 1993, when he was mugged in coastal NSW, and in 2001, when he defended a young woman in Sydney.
Mr Willcox said Miller became an alcoholic on his release from prison and that, combined with the injuries, resulted in him experiencing severe memory loss.
The court heard the twice married father-of-five was unable to recall some of the events of the case and was confused by others.
It was also stated that he had had three hip replacements and 17 dislocations.
Miller now has a paid carer and requires a walking stick and sometimes a wheelchair to get about.
Mr Willcox tendered documents, including one from a neuropsychologist, and references from the Salvation Army.
His lawyer told the court of his client's tough start to life, his many academic achievements and work in the army reserves as a medical officer, before he was struck off after his prison sentence.
Judge Pamela Jenkins will sentence Miller today.
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