Former carer cleared of ‘sexual assaults’

A FORMER Bassetlaw Hospital worker accused of sexually assaulting three patients has been cleared of all charges by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 30th April 2012, 5:05 pm

Matthew Shah, 24, of Savile Street, Retford, told jurors he had never touched any of the women in a sexual way when carrying out his duties as a carer.

He denied the charges which were alleged to have happened at the hospital between April and May 2010.

Mr Shah has since been dismissed as an employee at the hospital and admitted to being a ‘lousy’ healthcare assistant who was often ‘reckless’ in his handling of patients.

His role included the day-to-day care of patients such as feeding, cleaning and bathing.

All three women, two of whom are in their 80s and one in their 60s, suffer from dementia and had trouble washing.

Micheal Auty, prosecuting, claimed his conduct while washing patients was ‘wholly improper’.

Jurors heard witnesses claim to have seen Mr Shah sexually assault the women as well as pull patients up by the neck.

Taking to the stand for the first time on Thursday, Mr Shah was open about his conduct as a carer.

He told the court: “I feel I was possibly careless, even brazen, but I maintain that no way on any occasion being sexual. I was trying to wash the patients.”

“I’m accepting that for me to be here I may have been careless or clumsy, I guess you could say a little reckless. I accept that.”

“My intentions were honourable. My intentions were to clean and cleanse the patients.”

He added: “I think I was a pretty lousy healthcare assistant to be fair.”

Judge Peter Joyce QC addressed the jury: “You have heard he was a bit rough. You have heard he was not that experienced. It’s up to you whether you take that into account.”

The jury returned its not guilty verdict within two hours after retiring from the courtroom. Friends and family of the defendant wept as Mr Shah was cleared of all three allegations of sexual assault.

His family declined to comment following the conclusion of the trial on Friday afternoon.