12 December 2022

Jury fails to return verdict for any charges against doctor accused of sexual assault

| Albert McKnight
man talking on mobile phone while walking

Imran Kader leaves court during his ACT Supreme Court trial. Photo: Albert McKnight.

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses an alleged sexual assault.

A jury has been discharged after failing to reach a unanimous verdict for any charges against a doctor alleged to have sexually assaulted a nurse after a Christmas party in 2019.

Imran Kader faced an ACT Supreme Court trial that began in November before closing addresses were held last week.

The 12 jurors began deliberating on Thursday (8 December) before returning on Friday (9 December), informing Chief Justice Lucy McCallum that “despite robust discussion” they were unable to come to any decision.

“It’s the jury’s collective belief we’ll be unable to reach a unanimous verdict,” the jury representative said.

In light of their decision, Chief Justice McCallum discharged the jury and thanked them for their time.

“I urge you not to think for a minute your time has been wasted,” she said.

“You’ve obviously listened carefully, you’ve worked hard … [this] is the system working.”

Mr Kader had been charged with second-degree sexual assault, two counts of sexual intercourse without consent, and two acts of indecency without consent over an alleged incident with the nurse at his apartment in 2019, as well as a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice stemming from an alleged incident earlier this year.

He had already pleaded guilty to a charge of perjury.

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The trial began in the ACT Supreme Court on 28 November.

Jurors heard from the complainant who alleged that after they arrived at his apartment, Mr Kader went into the bathroom and came back with an electric toothbrush, which she claimed he pressed against her genitals.

“I was there, but it was so surreal, I sort of didn’t know what to do,” she alleged.

It is also alleged Mr Kader pushed her onto his bed, resulting in a large bruise on her lower back.

She said at one point the accused fell off the bed, and so she grabbed his face in her hands to “see if I could reason with him”.

“I grabbed his face and told him to stop … he just looked at me blankly and kept trying,” she alleged.

“[I said], ‘Stop, you’re married, stop’.”

Mr Kader himself testified on Tuesday (6 December).

When cross-examined by the Crown Prosecutor, he admitted he hoped the complainant wanted to have sex with him when he invited her back to his apartment, even though she had been a “stranger” to him until about an hour beforehand.

He said he kissed her, digitally penetrated her and performed oral sex on her with her consent, claiming she also kissed him as well.

But he denied using an electric toothbrush on her or pushing her onto the bed.

“I did not push her onto the bed. I did have the intention to have sex with her, but consensually,” Mr Kader said.

In her closing address, Crown Prosecutor Rebecca Christensen SC suggested Mr Kader’s account of what happened that night was “entirely a fantasy” that he “created in his own mind”.

However, his defence barrister James Maher claimed the complainant had gone “willingly” to Mr Kader’s apartment and had given “every indication” she was consenting until she “discovered that he’s married”.

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Mr Kader was granted bail by the court, and his matter scheduled to appear on 15 December.

If this story has raised any concerns for you, 1800RESPECT, the national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, can be contacted on 1800 737 732. Help and support are also available through the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 02 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 02 6280 0900, and Lifeline: 13 11 14. In an emergency, call triple zero.

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