Osteopath 'spanked sportswoman to cure whiplash injuries' An osteopath repeatedly spanked a sportswoman after telling her it would help cure whiplash injuries caused by road accidents, a court has heard.
She not only had to pay for the painful ordeals, but even had to wear a checked skirt and supply a stick which Ian Southcott used.
Southcott, 37, of Prince's Plain, Bromley Common, south London, denies four counts of indecent assault and two of causing actual bodily harm between October 1997 and October 1999.
But the so-called "nerve block tests" - a term unheard of by colleagues - together with numerous internal examinations, were just an excuse for him to enjoy himself, it has been claimed.
Sir John Morris, QC, prosecuting, has told Inner London Crown Court: "His treatment of her was not only, on occasions, unethical and unnecessary, but the procedures he carried out upon her crossed the boundary of professional practice to become systematic physical and sexual abuse for his own gratification."
The court heard his 31-year-old alleged victim, who had been sexually abused as a child, was a keen runner and swimmer. Two road accidents had left her with neck and shoulder injuries. She sought out Southcott for help and was told eight £58 half-hour sessions would be necessary.
The treatment seemed to help, but then during one visit he asked her to strip to her underwear, announced she had skeletal alignment problems and told her that unless he treated her on a "whole body" basis she would never really get better.
On one occasion he accused her of being tense and then invited her to bring some alcohol with her next time. She did and ended up quaffing a quantity of vodka before the so-called treatment began, said the barrister.
He told the jury that Southcott stated for the first of the treatments she would need to wear a checked skirt to act as a "grid" to help him locate the nerve patterns. She complied and was duly spanked. But afterwards he told her the treatment had only been 40% successful. A second occasion followed, resulting in "redness and pain".
But the final session, said Sir John, was the most painful of the lot. Sir John said: "He told her the problem was deeply rooted and that, reluctantly, he was going to have to use a stick for success.
"She arrived with part of a wooden coat hanger and a ruler. He laughed at the ruler and took the wooden coat hanger. This time the beating was severe. He seemed to be hitting her in the pattern of a grid. She flinched with pain and was reduced to tears." Days later she complained to police.