Dentist Peter Agnew has been sentenced to more time behind bars for sexually assaulting a young family friend. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Dentist Peter Agnew has been sentenced to more time behind bars for sexually assaulting a young family friend. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

Rapist dentist’s ‘chilling’ assault on second woman

A disgraced dentist jailed for raping a dental nurse has admitted to sexually assaulting another young woman by pinning her in a dental chair, trying to forcing a gas mask over her head and telling her 'you are going to love this'.

Retired dentist Peter James Agnew, 68, appeared in Brisbane District Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting the 20-year-old woman.

The court was told that Agnew had offered to give the young family friend a lift from Brisbane to the Gold Coast in the late 1970s when he told her he needed to call into his workplace at Sunnybank Hills to fix some dental equipment.

Prosecutor Sandra Cupina said he then told her to sit in the dental chair, pinned her down and attempted to drug her before putting hands up her blouse and skirt.

Dentist Peter Agnew arrives at Brisbane Court during his trial in July. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
Dentist Peter Agnew arrives at Brisbane Court during his trial in July. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall


"As she was seated and reclined in the dental chair, he attempted to place a nitrous oxide mask over her face," Ms Cupina said.

"He told her 'Just breathe, just relax, you're going to love this'."

Agnew stopped after a brief struggle and when she begged him to think about their family friendship.

The woman courageously fronted court with the support of her husband, telling Agnew he had silenced her with fear and intimidation for years - but she now felt she could put the ordeal behind her.

"You have taken so much from me," she said.

"However what happened to me isn't who I am, it is something I went through because of your selfish actions."

Agnew is currently serving a seven-year jail sentence after he was found guilty of rape and indecent assault he committed against a 19-year-old nurse at a Stafford clinic in 1980.

Ms Cupina said the context in both cases were sinisterly similar and showed he had a propensity for offending against young women.

During the judge-only trial in July, the court was told Agnew gave the dental nurse nitrous oxide until "she felt really dizzy and disorientated" then held her down and sexually assaulted her - stopping only when someone walked in on them.

One night afterwards when the young woman was closing up, Agnew pushed her to the floor and raped her then threatened to "blacklist" her if she told anyone.

The former dental nurse also appeared in court today in a show of support for Agnew's other victim.

Agnew's barrister Jeff Hunter said in the current case, there was no suggestion the young woman had been affected by the gas and he had stopped the assault.

Judge Ian Dearden described his offending as "particularly sinister" and said the circumstances would put a "chill down the spine of anyone who hears them".

"What an appalling, despicable and disgraceful way to treat someone who was a family friend," Judge Dearden said.

"Although not successful you were willing to use the tools of dentist trade, nitrous oxide, in order to achieve a sexual assault."

Agnew was sentenced to nine months' jail for the assault, to be served on top of his seven-year jail sentence.

He will be eligible for parole in April 2024.

After the sentence, the two women hugged each other before leaving court.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.

Originally published as Rapist dentist's 'chilling' assault on second woman


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