Monday 19 August 2019

Gardai investigating 'sex assault' on elderly woman in hospital bed

Gardai investigating 'sex assault' on elderly woman in hospital bed
Gardai investigating 'sex assault' on elderly woman in hospital bed
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Gardai are investigating an alleged sexual assault on an elderly widow in her hospital bed after she was placed in an all-male ward.

The 87-year-old grandmother suffered the terrifying ordeal when a partially-naked man pinned her to her bed and said “Stay still, this won’t take long”.

The patient’s furious son spoke to the Irish Daily Mail. He told the newspaper his mother usually lives in a nursing home, but was admitted to hospital with a chest infection.

“She was in her bed around midnight when she was awoken by the man climbing onto it. He took off his pyjamas and his underpants and he got onto the bed,” he said.

“It was dark and my mother was not able to shout out.”

Staff intervened, but the woman was left traumatised.

Gardai confirmed to the Herald that they were investigating the shocking incident, which happened last week.

Help for the woman – who was unable to raise the alarm – eventually came when another patient pressed his emergency bell to summon staff.

Her family said she was now unable to sleep at night.

Health watchdog Hiqa, the HSE, the Department of Health,  and the gardai, have been informed of the incident, which happened in the early hours of Wednesday of last week.

It is believed the man still remains in the hospital under constant watch and in isolation.

In a statement, South Tipperary General Hospital (STGH) apologised to the patient and said it brought the matter to the attention of gardai.

A spokesperson for the hospital said that it “takes all matters of patient care very seriously” and in line with “strict protocols”, contacted gardai.

The hospital has initiated its own internal review.

“Any incident of an untoward nature is brought to the attention of the appropriate authorities,” it said.

“STGH has apologised to the patient and family in relation to a matter it recently brought to the attention of gardai.”

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