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Mental health nurse sexually abused patient


Mental health nurse John Ryan abused a vulnerable patient

A VULNERABLE patient was sexually assaulted by a nurse who should have been looking after them.

Registered metal health nurse John Ryan abused one of his patients at Meadowfield Hospital in Worthing, before sexually assaulting her again outside the hospital, then using her to gain access to a second vulnerable woman who he also assaulted.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which runs the hospital and employed Ryan described his actions as “abhorrent”.

Ryan, 64, of Heatherstone Road, Worthing, was jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting four sexual offences against the two women.

Diane Hull, chief nurse at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “My thoughts today are with the victims and their families.

“I’m shocked, saddened and angry that vulnerable patients under our care were betrayed by one individual.

“John Ryan’s actions were abhorrent. His behaviour goes against everything the nursing profession, the NHS and our Trust stands for.

“When concerns about this individual came to our attention we contacted the police immediately.

“John Ryan was suspended from duty as soon as he was arrested and later dismissed.

“I want to give my personal assurance as chief nurse that the safety and wellbeing of patients under our care is our number one priority.

“Our nurses come to work to make a positive difference to the lives of patients and families. I know they will feel as angry as I do about something like this happening with our services.”

Detective Constable Jane Mills of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said: “This investigation involved two extremely vulnerable women.

“Ryan came into contact with the first victim whilst she was an in-patient in a mental health facility where he was employed.

“He committed an offence against her there and then continued to abuse his position of trust by creating an opportunity to commit further offences against her, and a further victim at the same address.

“During this sensitive and complex investigation, we worked with The Trust, and with the Council Adults’ Services for safeguarding purposes.

“It is important that people know that the police will always take reports of this nature seriously.”

Ryan was jailed by Hove Crown Court on Friday having pleaded guilty at a earlier hearing to four counts of sexual assault between September 2016 and January 2017.

He will be a registered sex offender for life, and was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to last until further court order, severely restricting his access to his future access to and involvement with vulnerable adults and children.

Ryan was also given an indefinite restraining order, prohibiting any contact with the two women and suspended from his job when he was arrested in January.

Source: The Argus