Ipswich: Psychiatric nurse ordered to attend sex offenders’ treatment course over toe sucking offence
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A psychiatric nurse who sexually assaulted a woman by sucking her toe while practising reflexology on her has been ordered to attend a sex offenders’ treatment programme.
The incident took place at Vincent Brookes’ home in Reynolds Road, Ipswich, after he offered to show her what reflexology was and she had reluctantly agreed, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
The session had been conducted in silence until Brookes took the woman’s big toe in his mouth and started making a “groaning sound”, the court was told.
Brookes, 48, denied sexually assaulting the woman in June but was found guilty by a jury after a trial last month and sentence was adjourned until yesterday for a pre-sentence report.
Sentencing him to a three year community order during which he will have to attend up to 200 hours at the Thames Valley Sex Offenders’ programme, Recorder Richard Gordon said : “You sexually assaulted her in the way you did because of your own sexual predilections.”
He described Brookes as cunning in the way he had turned the conversation with the woman to reflexology and had got her to sign a consent form.
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Mr Gordon said the victim had been traumatised by what happened but her aim in going to the police was to prevent it happening to someone else rather than revenge.
He said Brookes had no previous convictions and the offence was out of character.
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At the end of the hearing he told Brookes: “Please take this as an opportunity you have been given against nearly every sentencing instinct I had after your trial.”
In addition to the treatment programme Brookes was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.
Brookes was arrested after the woman complained to police and he admitted sucking her toes and kissing her foot.
He said he did not know why he did it and told officers he thought that because he had gained her consent to carry out reflexology he believed he had her agreement to kiss and suck her foot.
Brookes also said the woman did not say no and she had seemed to enjoy it.
He denied getting any sexual gratification and also denied he had a foot fetish.
Paul Donegan, for Brookes, described his client as a “broken man” and said he had been professionally and publicly humiliated.
He had lost his job as a result of the incident and was currently suspended by the nursing and midwifery council.
Brookes had been a psychiatric nurse for 28 years and had not behaved in this way before.
“He got his judgement spectacularly wrong on that day,” said Mr Donegan.