Health worker banned over oral sex during examination

A CABOOLTURE health worker who performed oral sex on a patient during a medical examination has been banned from working in the health sector, for life. 

Christopher Paul Costello was sentenced to 18 months in prison but was released after serving three months after he was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault, in the District Court, in September 2014. 

Last month the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal banned Costello from working in the health sector after the issue was raised by the Queensland Health Ombudsman. 

The facts of what happened when Costello worked for the Murri Health Group in Caboolture in 2012 were published in the tribunal's  findings. 

"Having performed various tests including taking a urine sample and blood pressure tests, (Costello) noted that the patient had traces of blood in his urine," the QCAT finding read. 

"What ensued was an increasingly venturesome series of acts of sexual exploration of the patient's testicles and then penis, with obvious attempt at stimulation.

"Eventually the respondent sat on a chair and asked the patient to stand in front of him.

"He leaned forward and put his mouth over the patient's penis three or four times. When asked by the patient "What's this about?" he advised, "I just need to try and get some fluid out to see where the blood is coming from".

"This was followed by the (Costello) giving the patient a key to the toilet and directing him to go to the toilet block stating that he would meet him there, which he did about 5 minutes later.

"The respondent asked the patient to remove his underwear and the patient complied. He placed his mouth over the patient's penis approximately twice.

"At this point, the patient pulled back and said, "What's this all about? I'm not gay." (Costello) replied, "This is what I thought you wanted".

"The patient responded, "No mate, I came here for a medical check I'm not gay". (Costello) replied, "No, no you're not gay. We'll leave it at that, just don't say anything." 

"Within 24 hours, the patient had complained to his mother, to the police and to Murri Health. When interviewed by his employer about the incident (Costello) gave an untrue self-serving version of events."

QCAT member James Thomas noted in his finding: "Whether his (Costello's) conduct is surveyed from the standpoint of poor character or absence of self-control, the risk of harm in further contact between (Costello) as a health service provider and members of the public is too great to contemplate his return to any practice of this kind."

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