UPDATE: St Richard’s Hospital rape suspect appears at court

Sajin Kunjappu Panikkassery
Sajin Kunjappu Panikkassery

A HEALTHCARE assistant has appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court today (January 14) charged with rape and sexual assault.

Sajin Kunjappu Panikkassery, 29, of Langton Road, Chichester, pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault and one count of raping a woman patient at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, on January 10.

He will appear at Chichester Crown Court on April 5.

The victim, a woman in her 20s, is receiving help and support and is no longer at the hospital.

A Sussex Police spokesman said they were receiving full co-operation from Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs St Richard’s.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation can contact police on 101 quoting Operation Jura.

A trust spokesman said: “Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust can confirm a member of staff at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, has been charged after being arrested by Sussex Police in connection with an alleged incident on January 10.

“The member of staff will not be working at the trust while the investigation takes place.

“The trust is cooperating fully with the police enquiry but is unable to make any further comment while the investigation is ongoing.”