A carer has been cleared of five offences of having sex with a male patient at an Essex care home.

Before Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday ( November 7) was 64-year-old Christine Marsh of Queen Elizabeth Way, Colchester.

She denied eight offences of sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder over a period of eight months and was cleared of five of the offences.

The jury was discharged after failing to reach verdicts on the remaining three charges and the prosecution was given until November 21 to decide if it wants a retrial on them.

The court heard that Marsh was suspended from her job at the care home after a photograph, allegedly of her lying on the alleged victim’s bed wearing just her bra and knickers,  was discovered.

Marc Brown, prosecuting, said the alleged victim was an adult male who had global developmental disorder and a low IQ which made him very much like a child.

As a result of his issues he lived in accommodation at the care home where he received round the clock support from carers, including Marsh.

A photograph, allegedly of Marsh lying on the man’s bed, was discovered when one of her colleagues was helping the man set up a new smartwatch and Marsh was suspended after the matter was reported to senior staff.

When the man’s phone was examined messages from Marsh were allegedly found on it.

Giving evidence Marsh denied having any sexual contact with the alleged victim and denied being the person in the picture on his phone.

She claimed the man had lied to police about having sex with her because he wanted to be moved to a different care home.