01 April 2015
Andrew Hutchinson’s Sex Offences and the Psychological Effects of Abuse
Andrew Hutchinson, a former staff nurse at an Oxford hospital, has been jailed for 18 years for raping and sexually assaulting unconscious patients.
Hutchinson had pleaded guilty to 27 counts including rape, voyeurism and sexual assault, at an Oxford Crown Court hearing on 31st March. His offences took place between 2011 and 2013 and some of his victims were as young as 10.
The 29-year-old nurse who worked at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford committed many of his offences in the Accident and Emergency department. Many patients were unconscious whilst Hutchinson abused them, completely unaware of what was happening to them. Hutchinson would also film his vile attacks, staring into the camera whilst he carried them out.
Hutchinson also admitted sexually assaulting women in the medical tent of a music festival and using a camera to spy on women and children at a leisure centre. He was arrested and charged by Thames Valley Police in December 2013 and afterwards sacked by John Radcliffe Hospital.
Police found images of Hutchinson’s sex offences on his phone and many victims who were featured in the photographs told police they did not know that they had been photographed or filmed. A computer, a camera and a memory stick were also seized when police searched Hutchinson’s home. All contained evidence that led to the detection of more sex offences.
All identifiable victims have been offered support by police who said they “have no doubt that Hutchinson would have continued to offend had he not been arrested”.
Judge Ian Pringle QC told Hutchinson during the sentencing hearing, “When they [Hutchinson's victims] 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.”
Hutchinson’s offences are all the more horrific because his victims did not know what had happened to them until they were contacted by police. One of his victims was so traumatised after finding out what happened to her that she tried to take her own life.
The psychological impact on survivors of abuse cannot be underestimated, especially in cases such as Andrew Hutchinson’s where he was in a position of trust and his victims had absolutely no idea what happened to them.
Survivors of abuse sadly suffer significant psychological effects for a long time. Pursuing a claim through the civil courts cannot reverse what has happened but will address the specific needs of the individual who has been abused and any compensation will take that individual’s circumstances into account, including the effect the abuse has had on their mental health.
We have represented victims in similar circumstances before and it is difficult to imagine a more serious abuse of trust from someone who was meant to be in the caring profession. It will be important for his victims to understand how this was allowed to happen and what safeguards have been put in place to ensure people that are under the effects of anaesthesia are not left exposed to attack in this way.
Slater and Gordon’s team of Abuse Lawyers currently represent more than 800 people in sexual abuse cases across the UK. We offer free legal advice for victims of physical and sexual abuse and any communication will be dealt with in the strictest of confidence.
Call our Abuse Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9046. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Alternatively contact us online and tell us where and when to call you.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are a leading personal injury law firm with more than 1,450 staff and 18 offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.
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