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Health worker accused of sexual offences against "vulnerable" patients

Health worker accused of sexual offences against

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Health worker accused of sexual offences against "vulnerable" patients

Tuesday 21 February 2023

A healthcare worker is on trial in the Royal Court, accused of committing eight sexual offences against two women with mental heath disorders he was supposed to be caring for.

Vincent Charles Roberts denies sending one woman sexually explicit messages and carrying out sex acts with another.

Advocate Simon Crowder, prosecuting, told the Royal Court on Monday that the 57-year-old kissed the first alleged victim and she slapped him in the face.

Mr Roberts kissed and touched the other woman sexually, or encouraged her to touch him, on seven separate occasions, the advocate added.

Advocate Crowder said those seven acts had been consensual, but that this was irrelevant, as the charge related to a woman who had a mental-health problem at the time.

In a phone message to the second alleged victim, after the allegations came to light, Mr Roberts wrote: "If we both deny this we will be fine."

The advocate said: "Mr Roberts would have been under no illusion that the acts were against the law. He preyed upon vulnerable people."

Giving evidence by video link, the first woman told the court that Mr Roberts had sent her messages which at first seemed friendly, but had become sexually explicit over time.

Then, when he was with her, he would make remarks about her figure – which led her to wear clothing that concealed it – she told the court. She added: "I was a bit iffy about it. It was uncomfortable. I had to be really careful about what I wore."

She said that when he kissed her she had immediately slapped him.

During cross-examination, Advocate Ian Jones, defending, put it to the woman that her allegations "didn't happen", which she denied. He also asked if her mind was "usually reliable", to which she responded: "Usually, yes."

The second woman also gave evidence via video link. She admitted that the sexual contact with Mr Roberts had been consensual, but added: "Looking back, what he did wasn't ok. I feel very confused and a bit angry."

The woman said she had been on medication at the time of the alleged incidents and would sometimes drink heavily, which affected her state of mind. Advocate Jones asked her: "Could you be mistaken about what Mr Roberts did?" "Absolutely not," she replied.

The trial is being held before Jurats Stephen Jones and Terry Ferbrache. Commissioner Sir John Saunders is presiding.

The trial continues today.

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