Felixstowe: Man cleared of ‘groping’ dementia sufferer

FELIXSTOWE: A man accused of “groping” an elderly dementia sufferer while visiting her in a care home has been cleared by a jury.

Melvyn Edwards, 69, of Arwela Road, Felixstowe, had denied five offences of sexual activity with the woman and was found not guilty of all the charges after a week-long trial at Ipswich Crown Court. It had been alleged that members of staff saw Edwards touch the woman’s bottom in her bedroom and on another occasion saw his hand “hovering” over the area of her breast inside her clothing while holding her hand.

However, giving evidence Edwards told the court he had “no sexual feelings whatsoever” towards the woman.

He denied having an affair with the woman before she went into the care home and said he regarded her as a “dear friend and like a mother”.

Edwards, who has been married for 47 years, claimed his actions had been misread and that any physical contact he had with the woman had been entirely innocent.

He accepted putting his hand on the woman’s knee and rubbing it in an “encouraging way” and to get her attention.

He denied touching the woman’s bottom while he was sitting on her bed and said he had put his hand on her back to move her out of the way so that he could pass a cup of coffee to her.

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He also denied putting his hand down her top while holding her hand.

He said he hadn’t asked for a solicitor to be present during police interviews after his arrest because he knew he hadn’t done anything wrong.

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