Hospital reassures patients over safety

>IPSWICH Hospital has today moved to reassure patients that a sexual assault carried out by a cleaner was a “rare and isolated” event.Stephen Meighan, 37, of Harebell Road, was jailed earlier this week after he admitted bundling a woman into a cupboard at the hospital and sexually assaulting her.

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IPSWICH Hospital has today moved to reassure patients that a sexual assault carried out by a cleaner was a “rare and isolated” event.

Stephen Meighan, 37, of Harebell Road, was jailed earlier this week after he admitted bundling a woman into a cupboard at the hospital and sexually assaulting her.

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said Meighan had been suspended from work as soon as the police began their enquiries.


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She said: “This was a very serious incident and we took immediate action the moment police began their investigations.

“Thankfully, such incidents are very rare indeed and this is an isolated case.”

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Meighan was employed by the company OCS who are contracted by the hospital to provide cleaning services.

Ms Rowsell said: “As with any NHS staff that come in to contact with patients, all OCS staff are subject to a Criminal Records Bureau check.

“Patients' safety is everyone's first priority at the hospital.”

Ipswich Crown Court heard on Wednesday that Meighan had been in the Sproughton Ward area of the hospital in June last year when he pushed his victim, who was not a patient, into a cupboard containing cleaning equipment where he sexually assaulted her.

Meighan also admitted sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl a month later, while he was out on bail for the hospital offence.

He was jailed for four-and-a-half years and was ordered to sign on the sex offenders' register for life.

Matthew Gowan, for Meighan, said his client felt genuine remorse for what he had done and felt genuine empathy for both victims of the sexual assaults.

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