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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Sex offender care home resident needed constant supervision, court hears

Written by Jemma Crew

An "opportunistic and predatory" sex offender who attacked a fellow resident at a care home was able to enter bedrooms "night or day" despite requiring 24/7 supervision, a court heard.

Hillgreen Care Limited knew the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, needed constant one-on-one supervision to protect vulnerable residents from his advances.

The private care company is being tried in its absence at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court.

It is accused of exposing service users to a "risk of sexual harm" and failing to protect them from abuse over seven months at a home in Enfield.

Hillgreen was aware of the risk presented by the man, who is not on trial, while caring for him for more than a decade.

During this time, a "significant" number of allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour were levelled against him, prosecutor Paul Greaney QC told the court.

These related to male and female victims dating back to when he was a child.

The man, referred to as XX, is said to have bullied younger children at school and tried to entice a younger boy into the toilet with him.

While under the care of Hillgreen, he allegedly raped a vulnerable adult and carried out a sexual assault on a schoolgirl on a bus while his carer was looking the other way.

A care plan was agreed in which the defendant said the resident must be "supported at all times and not to be left alone unsupervised".

Opening the case, Mr Greaney said: "In short, the defendant failed entirely to implement a regime that it had itself accepted as necessary to protect other residents from that risk.

"It follows that this case does not involve mere negligence, but rather involves egregious failures by the defendant to do what it knew needed to be done to protect vulnerable persons in its care."

On the day a resident was assaulted, XX was "alone and unsupervised contrary to everything the defendant knew should occur", the prosecution said.

The court was told how there were at times two care workers on duty at one time for all residents in the home, which staff said was not sufficient.

A care worker discovered XX with his genitals exposed in the bedroom of another vulnerable resident, YY, with XX later saying he had had sex with YY, prosecutors say.

Another staff member said he believed the resident would have been unable to consent.

In a letter to investigators, solicitors acting for the company said the withdrawal of funding for psychotherapy treatment had increased the risk that XX presented.

Mr Greaney continued: "The defendant was fully aware of the risk of sexual harm he presented.

"Nonetheless, XX was not the subject of one-to-one supervision within the home and, moreover, he was able to enter the bedroom of any resident, whether night or day, at will.

"It is obvious that the defendant could easily have taken steps to supervise XX one-to-one within the house and to have restricted access to bedrooms. It failed to take those steps."

The trial continues.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Anthony Devlin / PA Wire.