Bristol

Secretary 'bite' was banter, Bristol Spire knee surgeon says

David Johnson Image copyright PA
Image caption David Johnson says being suspended has cost him more than £100,000 in lost earnings

A private surgeon accused of biting his secretary has told a court there was physical contact between them but it was part of "playful banter".

David Johnson, 57, says he "nudged, pecked or kissed" Krysha James' shoulder, but denies assault.

Knee surgeon Mr Johnson was suspended from the private Spire Hospital in Bristol following the allegation.

District Judge Lynne Matthews told Bristol Magistrates' Court she would reserve judgment until a later date.

On Monday, the court heard Ms James was left with a bruise as a result of a bite.

'Not malicious'

She told the court they were going over an invoice and she leant across Mr Johnson to grab some paper and he bit her.

But Mr Johnson, of Sea Walls Road, said her action meant he could not see to continue working and he "took that as playful banter, horseplay".

"I didn't see it as malicious or designed to hurt me but it was physical contact," he said.

"I nudged, pecked or kissed with my lips the shoulder as it sat under my chin, just to say, 'I can't work in this position'.

"It was at the back of the shoulder. It literally was a nudge. There was no harm, there could not have been any harm."

Mr Johnson added he was in "total shock" when he learned of her complaint and was subsequently suspended by the hospital - an action which has since cost him more than an estimated £100,000, the court was told.

The incident, last September, is alleged to have taken place in the cabin where they worked in the car park of the private hospital.

The judgment on the case will be reserved until a future date,

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