May 2023

Married vet, 45, who photographed himself sexually assaulting woman sleeping in hotel room 

A married vet who photographed himself sexually touching a woman as she slept in his hotel room was jailed for 18 months 

Jamie Rushton, 45, assaulted his victim as she lay in bed at the Runnymede on Thames Hotel and Spa in Egham, Surrey, on 25 June 2017.

The woman had drunk a ‘large amount of alcohol’ that night and woke up in Rushton’s hotel room with no recollection of how she got there or what had taken place that night.

But two years later Rushton’s wife found images of the woman on his computer and reported him to police, Wood Green Crown Court heard.

The photographs showed the woman’s naked bottom and the married father-of-two’s hands moving towards her private parts.

Police finally contacted the victim in 2021 and she confirmed it was her in the images but she could not recall the encounter with Rushton that night.

A number of upskirt photos taken of women using public transport were also found on his devices.

The woman told the court the whole incident has been ‘highly embarrassing and very uncomfortable.’

She told the court Rushton ‘was an attractive man but [she] was not sexually attracted to him.’

‘From my own knowledge of myself I think it is highly unlikely that I would have consented or allowed that to happen,’ the woman said.

Rushton, who started practicing veterinary medicine at the Village Vet practice in Hampstead in 2007, claimed the woman had flirted with him as they danced together earlier that evening.

‘She draped herself across me as sat on a chair and she was stroking on my goatee and on my hair.

‘I went to say goodbye as I was going into my room, and she indicated she wasn’t moving on and we moved into my room.’

He said they lay on the bed together, fully clothed, before beginning to kiss ‘more intensely’.

Rushton said while kissing the woman he ‘felt guilty’ as he was a married man and decided not to take it further.

‘In the case of physical intimacy, I had missed that, and when she was kissing me, it was a lovely feeling.

‘I appreciate she will be hurt and upset and I’m deeply sorry in that respect and I sympathise for that and she probably feels hurt and wants to maximise the justice and disassociate from me; but it’s not fair and that’s why we’re here.’

Rushton, of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, admitted sexual assault but a judge held a trial of issue to resolve whether the pair had been intimate prior to the offence.

Judge Karim Ezzat found Rushton to be an ‘unreliable’ witness and ruled in favour of the victim, after she insisted there was no intimacy before the assault.

Jailing Rushton for 18 months Judge Ezzat said: ‘I do not detect any remorse from you but that is perhaps because you do not think you have done anything wrong.

‘I have no doubt you deeply regret finding yourself before the court charged with these offences.

‘You have lost a lot as a result of your conduct.

‘I wonder if you can imagine the shock and horror [the victim] must have experienced when the police contacted her and asked her to identify herself.

‘There was an abuse of trust as [the victim] placed herself in a vulnerable position in your care which was something you took advantage of.

‘This [offence] was driven purely by your sexual desire.’

Rushton bowed his head as he was jailed for 18 months and ordered to pay £3,000 in court costs. He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.