Jail for health worker who sexually assaulted patient

A CHERBOURG health worker has been jailed after convincing a patient he was "checking for lumps" during a routine check-up which ended in sexual assault.

Christopher Paul Costello, 31, worked at the Murri Medical Aboriginal health centre in Caboolture when the male victim entered in April last year.

He convinced the 30-year-old patient to remove his clothes so his genitals could be inspected for abnormalities and asked him to lie on the floor so he could get "better angles to feel for lumps".

His only responsibilities were to check blood pressure, perform a urine test and carry out a medical history questionnaire.

Costello placed the man's penis in his mouth, claiming he had to "get some fluid out" to check for traces of blood.

When the man protested, Costello said: "You do realise what goes on here stays in here".

The victim, who had a carer and was described as "vulnerable", reported the assault to staff.

Judge Brian Harrison took into account Costello's mental health and early guilty plea but said his punishment needed to deter other would-be offenders.

"What you did can only be described as a blatant breach of trust," he said.

Costello will be released from prison after serving three months of an 18-month sentence.