Notts care home fined for failing to prevent a resident’s rape despite 'escalating pattern of threat'

A Nottinghamshire care provider has been fined £363,000 after it failed to prevent a male resident from raping a female resident even though he ‘exhibited an escalating pattern of threatening sexual behaviour’.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 6:30 am

Service users and staff at the home, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, were also put at risk over 17 months, when 79 separate incidents of ‘verbal or physical sexualised behaviour’ by the same resident were recorded against five service users and eight members of staff.

Jemima Stephenson, prosecuting for the Care Quality Commission at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, said, although the behaviour was documented, staff did not manage the risk he posed.

The court heard a different female resident made an allegation of rape against the man and he sexually assaulted a member of staff in a cupboard.

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He was overheard talking about the nine-year-old daughter of a woman he met in a pub, saying ‘she was perfect’ and he would wait for her to become an adult.

He exposed himself to another service user and rubbed himself against a member of staff.

The male resident was later convicted of eight sex offences.

Ms Stephenson said there was ‘a serious and systemic failure to respond’.

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‘Other partners failed too’

Mark Ruffell, mitigating, said: “What happened in this care home was unique. They were doing a lot of what they were supposed to do.

“The defendant accepts they should have joined the dots, but so should the social services and the police."

He said staff made a number of referrals to the social services, but no action was taken, and although police were called on some occasions they ‘either didn't attend or the matter dissipated’.

Applications to Nottinghamshire Council for additional funding to manage the resident were refused.

Mr Rufford said: “Those other partners failed too. Many people say social services, the police and the council are underfunded.”

The care provider previously admitted failing in its duty to protect the woman from abuse and to safeguard residents.

Sentencing, Judge Leo Pyle said: “Effectively you had a fox in the chicken house. You should have got him out of there. Surely you have to be robust, proactive and quick.”

The provider was also ordered to pay court costs of £12,441.

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