Charge Detail Summary

File Number: Med19/435P
Practitioner: Stephen James Dawson
Hearing Start Date:

Hearing End Date:

Hearing Town/City:
Hearing Location:
Charge Characteristics:

Sexual misconduct - indecent assault (Established)

Sexual misconduct - indecent act

Legislation – breach of Crimes Act 1961

Additional Orders:

Other Suppression Orders

Interim order suppressing the name of the victim and identifying details.

1006 Med19435p.pdf

Other Suppression Orders

Permanent order suppressing the name of the victim and any identifying details.


Appeal Order:


Full Decision 1028Med19435P.pdf

Appeal Decision:

Precis of Decision:



On 29 May 2019, the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal) considered a charge laid by a Professional Conduct Committee against Dr Stephen James Dawson, medical practitioner of Oamaru (the Doctor).


The Doctor was convicted in the District Court on two charges.  The first charge was a representative charge of indecent assault on a woman by touching her breasts during medical examinations.  The second was a representative charge of exploitatively doing an indecent act on the same person who had a significant impairment by touching her breasts during medical examinations.  The Court sentenced the Doctor to nine months home detention.


The charge alleged the convictions brought or were likely to bring discredit to the medical profession and/or reflected adversely on the Doctor’s fitness to practise.




The victim was a patient of the Doctor’s at the time of the offending.  She was described in the Court Sentencing Notes as having a mental age of between 12 and 15 years and “obviously highly vulnerable.”  The Tribunal found the Doctor took advantage of that vulnerability.




The Doctor accepted the charge brought against him.


The Tribunal found the charge was established and his conduct brought discredit to the medical profession and reflected adversely on his fitness to practise. 




The Tribunal:


  • cancelled the Doctor’s registration;
  • censured the Doctor;
  • imposed two conditions that must be satisfied before the Doctor may apply for registration as a medical practitioner;
  • imposed two conditions which will apply for a period of three years, if the Doctor returns to practise;
  • ordered the Doctor pay costs of $3,240.00; and
  • ordered publication of the decision.