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'Accident waiting to happen' - carer with learning difficulties went on to have sex with patient

PUBLISHED: 16:45 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:45 21 August 2019

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

A judge has slammed a care company for its decision to employ a carer with learning difficulties who then went on to have sex with a vulnerable client.

However Green Rose Care, which employed 33-year-old Kevin Woolston, said there had been nothing to suggest he would be inappropriate for the role during "stringent recruitment and training".

Woolston, of Thorpe Way, Cambridge, admitted sexual activity with a person with mental disorder by a care worker at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday.

The court heard how he had been given two days initial training before being allowed to look after people at a care home.

Judge Rupert Overbury said a psychologist who examined 33-year-old Kevin Woolston had questioned how someone with an IQ of 71 and with learning disabilities of his own as well "substantial" personal issues could possibly be given a job looking after similarly disadvantaged people.

The court heard how Woolston was described as "quite slow" and was sometimes mistaken as being a client of the care home rather than a carer.

Judge Overbury said: "It must have screamed out to anybody that he must have problems and shouldn't be left alone. What I don't understand is that after two days initial training for six weeks he was allowed to supervise people.

"It is just unbelievable that this could happen in this day and age and it did.

"This was an accident waiting to happen."

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Ipswich-based Green Rose Care, which is an interactive provider of care and support services for people with learning disabilities, said it had taken on board the judge's comments.

A spokeswoman for Green Rose Care said: "When the allegation came to light, we suspended the member of staff immediately and informed the police. He was subsequently dismissed.

"There had been nothing to suggest during our stringent recruitment and training process that this individual had been inappropriate for the role.

"Our highest priority is the welfare and safety of the people we support and we have taken on board the judge's comments."

Woolston was given a three-year community order and a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 120 days.

He was also banned from contacting the victim indefinitely and ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for five years.

Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said the victim had a low IQ, mild learning difficulties and a mental disorder.

She lived in the west Suffolk area at accommodation that was staffed round the clock by Green Rose Care agency, which employed Woolston as a carer.

The offence came to light after the victim told another carer that she'd had sex with Woolston and that she'd "liked it".

Miss Tucker said DNA tests confirmed that Woolston had sex with the woman and he told police it had been consensual.

The court heard that Woolston had no previous convictions and had not reoffended since the offence in 2016.

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