Halstead carer jailed after sexually assaulting disabled woman in the shower
- Credit: Archant
A former carer from Halstead convicted of sexually abusing a 37-year-old disabled woman has been jailed.
Vicky Hooper, 29, of Trinity Court in Halstead, had been employed as a carer for the woman, helping assist her with day to day tasks and personal care.
She was arrested and later charged on two counts of sexual assault, two counts of assault by penetration and one count of indecent exposure.
During her four-day trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, which began on January 8, jurors heard that in March 2016 Hooper had sexually assaulted the victim while she was in the shower.
The court also heard that Hooper, who worked for a care agency, had indecently exposed herself.
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Hooper denied the charges, but was found guilty of one count of assault by penetration, one count of sexual assault and indecent exposure.
She was acquitted on the other charges.
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At her sentencing on Friday, February 2, Hooper was given a three-year jail sentence for the assault by penetration, 12 months for the sexual assault and two months for the third, which will run concurrently.
Hooper is banned from working in the industry for life, and has been ordered to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.
Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Claire Hicks from Essex Police said: “Vicky Hooper abused her position of trust as a carer and sexually assaulted the victim in her own home, causing her considerable emotional distress.
“I hope that the sentence handed down gives Hooper time to reflect on the seriousness of the offences that she has committed.
“I would particularly like to thank the victim for the trust she has placed in Essex Police and the court system and I hope that, with the support of her family, she will be able to move past what has been a very difficult time for her.”
The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was praised for her bravery in reporting the crimes.
“Also speaking after the hearing, the victim said: “I hope this case will encourage other victims of sexual abuse to come forward and not to keep things to themselves.”
An Essex County Council spokesman said: “We expect carers to provide a high standard of care for vulnerable people and to act appropriately. We work closely with the market and the Care Quality Commission to ensure a good standard of care is being followed and we encourage anyone with concerns to report it using the normal safeguarding routes.”