Care worker is jailed for having sex with mentally-ill patients

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 September 2012

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A CARE worker who had sexual relationships with mentally ill and disabled patients has been jailed for his 'reprehensible' crimes.

Colin Hines was told by a crown court judge he had brought his ‘profession into disrepute’ and caused ‘considerable damage’ to his victims through his ‘utterly inappropriate’ offences.

The 46-year-old has been a practising care worker for 17 years, working largely at Weston General Hospital where some of his crimes took place.

Hines, employed part of that time by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Trust at the Juniper secure mental health ward at the Grange Road site, was jailed at Bristol Crown Court for 30 months.

He was sentenced for seven charges of being a care worker and engaging in sexual activity with a woman with a mental disorder or learning disability.

Hines, of Lonsdale Avenue on Weston’s Bournville estate, told the court he was having ‘difficulties’ with his partner when he struck up relationships with two women.

But the court heard how his girlfriend is still standing by him and will wait for him while he is in jail.

Hines denied his crimes in police interview, but admitted them at the earliest opportunity in court.

His Honour Judge Roach told Hines on August 22 when sentencing him: “These offences are reprehensible.

“You have caused these women significant damage.

“It is clear as far as one lady is concerned she has been traumatised by what has happened.

“Women in these positions need to know they can rely on people.”

Hines, who received 30-month sentences for each offence to run concurrently, will be eligible for parole after 15 months.

He must also sign on the sex offenders’ register.

His defence solicitor Fiona Elder, told the court: “He is a man of 46 not used to articulating his motivation and feelings.

“He had feelings for both women, but was their carer.

“He pays a very dear price for what has happened.”

The offences took place at Weston General Hospital, as well as at a supported housing complex in town and a flat in North Somerset in 2010 and 2011.

The Mercury is unable to reveal the identity of his victims, but one said following the hearing: “It is a shame it has come to this.”

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