NHS worker ‘made girls drink excessive amounts of water then watched them urinate’

Selkirk Sheriff Court. Picture: JP
Selkirk Sheriff Court. Picture: JP

AN NHS health worker accused of making young girls drink excessive quantities of water and then watching them urinate will stand trial later this year.

Peregrine Burgess, 54, of Peebles, is alleged to have watched on as girls as young as seven-years-old went to the toilet while looking after them.

He is said to have carried out some of the acts as a supervisor on Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme overnight stays at isolated locations in the Borders.

A dietician with NHS Borders, he is also facing allegations of sexual assault on adult women while he was working at different clinics.

Court papers state Burgess induced a total of 15 schoolgirls to drink excessively before watching them urinate at various locations in the Borders, Fife and on beaches in East Lothian.

He is also alleged to have picked up and held some of the girls – all aged between seven and 14-years-old – close to his body while they urinated.

Further charges include Burgess allegedly watching children urinate and touching their bodies while he was supervising them during overnight stays with Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

One charge alleges Burgess secretly watched two 13-year-old girls wash and use the toilet while the pair were at Leckie Memorial Church in Peebles in September 2016.

The papers also state Burgess sexually assaulted female patients while employed as a dietician by pulling their clothing down, pinching their bodies with a set of calipers and asking them to urinate in a cup while he worked at various health centres and hospitals.

Burgess is facing a total of 30 charges – involving 24 alleged victims – relating to inducing children to urinate for him and watching them, sexual assault and making sexual comments to minors.

All the allegations are said to have been carried out between June 1, 2012 and May 31 last year.

The 54-year-old failed to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday (TUES) and the case was continued to next month by Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC for Burgess to appear in person.

Burgess is currently suspended from his position as a dietician at NHS Borders by the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS) after the allegations surfaced during an appearance at Selkirk Sheriff Court last July.

Burgess was handed an interim 18-month suspension at the HCPTS disciplinary hearing in Edinburgh last August.

A review of the health body’s suspension order will be held once the criminal investigations into Burgess’s alleged behaviour are completely dealt with.