Care worker caught sexually abusing dementia patient on Christmas Day jailed

A care home worker who was caught sexually abusing a vulnerable dementia patient on camera on Christmas Day has been jailed.

On Christmas Day 2019, Dylan Birkett, 21, was working at St George’s Nursing Home in Barrow, Cumbria, when he attacked a 69-year-old victim who was getting ready to see her family.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, suffers from dementia and expressive receptive dysphasia, which means she struggles to communicate.

Preston Crown Court heard Birkett was caught out by a secret camera the family had placed in his victim’s room after they became suspicious when she began showing signs of distress.

Birkett was captured squeezing the woman’s breasts, placing her hand on his crotch, and leading her to an en-suite bathroom.

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The victim was reportedly in distress and could not be consoled on the morning of the attack, and spent the entire Christmas "very upset".

In a victim statement, the woman's husband said: "On Christmas Day she had been home with us but was very upset all day.

"I took her back to St George's and stayed until she went to sleep.

"When I took the camera home and viewed the footage I was absolutely horrified to discover that Dylan Birkett had been physically and sexually abusing her while working as a carer in the home."

The woman's husband then called the care home who called the police and Birkett was arrested the following day.

During his arrest, he admitted he had touched the woman but said he was checking she was properly dressed, but later admitted sexually abusing the 69-year-old woman.

His victim was then subject to distressing forensic examinations but was too upset for these to be completed in full.

Judge Simon Newell sentenced Birkett to two years behind bars and said the offending was "so heinous there could only be an immediate prison sentence".

He said: "You can't give any definitive view as to why it happened but a reasonable view might be that this was for sexual gratification by an immature, inexperienced, socially inadequate and lonely young man who suffers from Aspergers."

Speaking after sentencing, the woman's husband said: "The realisation of what he has put her through has shaken our family to its core. None of us will ever forget that Christmas Day.

"Despite her dementia, my wife is still traumatised by her ordeal and still has flashbacks and starts crying."

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