Nurse who filmed himself raping unconscious patients jailed for 18 years
Published 27/04/2015 | 18:45
A nurse who filmed himself raping two unconscious women patients in a hospital accident and emergency department has been jailed for 18 years.
Andrew Hutchinson, 29, carried out the assaults on women brought in to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, where he worked, after they had drunk too much on nights out.
He also recorded himself sexually assaulting two other unconscious drunk women while volunteering in the medical tent at a local music festival, Oxford Crown Court heard.
The staff nurse's crimes came to light after he was arrested for voyeurism in November 2013 for illicitly filming young girls, including one aged just nine, at a leisure centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
Police searched his home and found footage of the sex attacks on his phone and computer equipment.
Read more here: Nurse drugged and raped 27 patients at busy A&E
His victims were completely unaware of what he had done until detectives traced them.
The court heard that hundreds of other voyeuristic pictures were found of women it had been impossible to trace, including "upskirt" shots taken on the London Underground while Hutchinson was a volunteer at the 2012 Olympics.
Hutchinson, of Garford, near Abingdon, admitted 27 charges of rape, sexual assault, voyeurism, outraging public decency, making indecent images of children, theft of medical equipment and theft/possession of controlled class B drug ketamine at a hearing in March.
Several of Hutchinson's victims were in court to see him sent to prison today, and some wept as his crimes were described, including the effect they had on them.
Judge Ian Pringle QC, recorder of Oxford, ordered that smartly-dressed Hutchinson, who sat with his head bowed throughout the hearing, should serve an extended licence period of seven years after he is released from prison.
Describing his crimes as "despicable", the judge told him: "When they were unconscious requiring your help and your assistance as their nurse, you raped them and you filmed it. It is impossible to conceive of a greater breach of trust in our society than that."
Speaking outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Mark Johns of Thames Valley Police, who led Operation Bream to trace Hutchinson's victims and bring him to justice, said: "I have no doubt that Hutchinson would have continued to offend had he not been arrested so I am delighted that this prolific offender will now be behind bars for a significant period of his life.
"This has been a particularly complicated, unusual and sensitive case as the victims of his sex offences were not aware that offences took place because they were not conscious. Thames Valley Police sent specially-trained officers to personally speak to all the victims.
"I would like to thank the victims for the great courage and dignity they have shown during our investigation. I cannot imagine the distress they have been through since we had to inform them they were a victim in this complex investigation.
"I hope the victims feel some sense of justice now Hutchinson has been convicted and sentenced."
Read more here: Senior male nurse filmed himself raping unconscious women in A&E
He said that all victims who could be identified had been contacted by police.
The court heard that Hutchinson was originally arrested in November 2013 after taking pictures of young girls underneath the cubicle walls in unisex changing rooms at the White Horse Leisure Centre in Abingdon.
His flat and computers were searched and detectives found video footage of the nurse abusing two patients at Oxford's main hospital, as well as thousands of other images of child porn and voyeurism.
The footage showed him orally raping the two women as well as performing other sex acts on one of them.
The court heard that the women, one of whom was an NHS worker, had no idea what he had done to them until they were contacted by police, who tracked them down by cross-referencing admission records against Hutchinson's shifts in 2011 and 2012, when they took place.
They had to identify themselves by viewing parts of the recordings, the court heard.
Prosecutor Matthew Walsh said that one of the women "feels pure hatred towards him", adding: "She was unconscious when he raped her. He was supposed to be looking after her but he has taken advantage of her when she was at her most vulnerable."
The second victim, in a statement read to the court, spoke of her shock, adding: "I think that what he has done is much worse that doing it in the street because I had no idea what was happening, so I had no opportunity to fight back."
This led to murmurs of agreement from the public gallery.
Mr Walsh told the judge he might struggle to "imagine a case where there was a more vulnerable victim".
The prosecutor said Hutchinson's behaviour "escalated to not just voyeurism but filming acts of sexual assault and rape", with footage found at his home showing him attacking women "clearly in a state of unconsciousness".
He said: "It was also clear from one glance they were in hospital and wearing white gowns. What was quite quickly apparent was that he had these women in his professional care."
Detectives also found footage of Hutchinson sexually assaulting two young women aged 21 and 24 whom he was tending at the Wilderness Festival in Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, in August 2013.
He had volunteered to lead the medical team at the festival and was tending to the drunk women when he committed the crimes, one in a medical tent and the second in an ambulance parked nearby.
His voyeurism charges covered pictures taken inside the John Radcliffe Hospital and the leisure centre, with many of his female victims unidentifiable from pictures that showed them only from the waist down.
Mr Walsh said police had "hundreds, if not thousands" of other images taken by Hutchinson over the course of years, but had been unable to trace the people in them.
Some were taken at a gym in Batley, West Yorkshire, where Hutchinson previously worked before becoming a nurse.
He was also sentenced for stealing a nasal endoscope to help him take his images and for possession of ketamine.
Claire Fraser, for Hutchinson, said he had been receiving therapy for his voyeuristic urges before his arrest in December.
She produced a letter the sex attacker wrote to the court, apologising to his victims for the "distress" he had caused them, and also to fellow medics for bringing the profession into disrepute.
She said: "He hopes with the support of his family and any help he can receive, that one day he he will be a productive, working member of society."