UNRELIABL WITNESS: James Pere had his case against CQHHS dismissed by the Supreme Court.
UNRELIABL WITNESS: James Pere had his case against CQHHS dismissed by the Supreme Court. Christopher Chan

Perving nurse claims dismissed by Supreme Court

A CIVIL case, which included an accusation that a Gladstone nurse had committed assault and battery against a fellow employee, has been dismissed by the courts for a second time.

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the original finding after a trial in January this year found fire safety and security officer, James Pere to be an unreliable witness.

The four-day trial in January heard Pere's claim for damages against his former employer, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

He alleged that while talking to a doctor at Gladstone Hospital, a nurse had come at him from the other side with a needle syringe in her hand and poked him.

He also claimed shame and humiliation as the nurse was looking at his penis while he gave a urine sample.

Pere had been taken to the hospital's emergency department after a staff member noticed he was acting unusually at work.

Medical staff believed he was either under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs, or suffering from a medical condition needing urgent attention.

Hospital staff said he was calm and co-operative and had given consent for the tests.

But Pere claimed no consent was given and the incident culminated in a psychiatric injury.

The case was dismissed after conflicting evidence between Pere, the nurse and doctor was considered.

The judge said Pere's credibility was so poor that his evidence shouldn't be acted on, and his account of the incidents "implausible".

His conclusion was partly based on a conversation soon after the incident with his union representative, who concluded Pere had no memory of giving a urine sample, and two psychiatrists who expressed doubts about the genuineness and severity of his psychiatric condition.

The judge found that other unrelated issues were causing stress and that Pere had concerns relating to the breakdown of his marriage with his Australian wife...and issues arising from concerns expressed by his traditional Papua New Guinean wife.

Despite this, Pere lodged a Supreme Court appeal claiming a power imbalance between him and his employer meant he did not have true freedom whether to consent or not.

While Pere submitted that CQHHS had acted outside its own guidelines and its witnesses had changed their stories and lied to the court on"many important things", he did not challenge findings against his own credibility.

Pere claimed in excess of 20 "ground of appeal", none of which articulated legal errors, but consisted of a mixture of comment and criticism.

The appeal was dismissed as having no prospects of success.



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