A male auxiliary nurse who sexually assaulted a “hopelessly defenceless” patient was yesterday handed a five year prison term.
Jailing 58-year-old David Hull at Downpatrick Crown Court, Judge Piers Grant told him he had committed a serious breach of the trust between hospital patients and medical staff, which had left his victim suffering a “significant degree” of harm.
The details are too graphic to report, but the offences involve sexual contact with the 65-year-old victim.
It happened when Hull was alone with the curtains drawn around the victim’s bed in the Ulster Hospital, as he was supposed to be performing a health procedure.
“She was hopelessly defenceless from you,” said the judge. “There was nothing she could do to escape and nothing she could do to prevent it in any way... but you went ahead and did it for your own sexual gratification.”
The victim was bed-bound, had a lung disease and chest infection, and part of her leg had been amputated.
Arrested and interviewed, Hull claimed the incident had happened accidentally when his hand slipped, but that when it did, “he found it sexually arousing”, admitting that he was “disgusted at himself”.
At an earlier court hearing Hull, from Main Street in Carrowdore, had pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault on September 2.
The auxiliary nurse – who acted as a kind of support worker rather performing the role of a full, registered nurse – was told he will serve half the sentence on supervised licence, and sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.
The South Eastern health trust said in a statement: “As soon as this matter came to light, David Hull was immediately suspended. The matter was appropriately reported to PSNI for investigation.”
It added that, following the case, he will now be sacked.