A MONSTER care worker who repeatedly raped an “extremely vulnerable” disabled man at a Fife residential home has been jailed for more than six years.
Steven Watson, 64, preyed on the victim while employed as a relief support worker with a disability charity.
A judge told Watson at the High Court in Edinburgh that it was a “dreadful crime” committed against a person he was paid to care for.
Lord Beckett said it was a serious offence committed in “gross breach of trust” of a man who was unable to consent and unable to physically resist.
Watson, from Dunfermline, carried out sexual assaults on his 44-year-old victim on three occasions at the residential home.
Advocate Depute Jane Farquharson QC told the court: “He had been in this role as a support worker for 15 to 20 years.
“It is employment that saw the accused caring for some of the most vulnerable members of society many of whom including the complainer have limited communication and mobility skills.”
The prosecutor added: “The role of a support worker is to attempt to make a service user’s life as normal as possible.”
She said the victim has a number of conditions, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and severe learning difficulties and is confined to a wheelchair.
Ms Farquharson added: “He cannot do anything for himself and requires assistance in all aspects of his daily living.
“He can express himself, using yes and no answers, head movements, and through the use of visual communication aids but only if asked a simple and closed question.”
On January 6 this year, Watson had taken the man to a restaurant in Dunfermline during his shift before returning to the residential home.
When they returned the man indicated he wanted to go to bed. A woman support worker offered to help Watson with the task, which involved using an overhead hoist, but he declined the offer.
He then wheeled the man into his bedroom and closed the door.
The woman later returned because she wanted to speak to Watson and knocked on the bedroom door and immediately walked in.
MOST READ IN NEWS
SNP politician angers bosses over Scotland ‘holiday resort’ row with English BBC DJ
Family of slain Scots schoolgirl furious as killer ‘spotted back on streets’
Scot in worldwide drugs gang snared by DNA on elastic bands from dirty money
Serious motorbike smash sees Scots road locked down & ‘air ambulance swoop in’
Love Island’s Anton makes first public appearance in Glasgow since leaving villa
CRUEL ‘GUN’ THUG
Owner’s horror after kitten blasted in eye with air gun in Scots town
Watson had his back to the door and was standing facing the man’s bed. When he became aware that someone else was in the room, he rolled the man away from him.
She heard Watson doing up his belt.
The woman suspected that Watson was not providing care to the resident but did not confront him at the time. She spoke to Watson about covering a shift for her but he did not turn around or make eye contact.
Ms Farquharson said: “She formed the impression he was flustered.”
Cops launched an investigation after concerns were raised about Watson to management.
Another worker later took the man out on a car trip to see relatives but noticed a change in his behaviour and asked if anything was wrong.
He asked if something had happened to him and received a positive indication and the man confirmed it was Watson who was responsible.
Watson was interviewed by police and admitted the incident on January 6 but initially claimed the victim was a willing participant.
Watson also admitted to carrying out two further sex acts on the man before Christmas.
The first offender earlier admitted to assaulting and raping the man, who because of a mental disorder, was incapable of giving consent.
Defence solicitor advocate Gordon Martin said Watson regretted his actions but still cannot explain them.
He asked the judge to take account of Watson’s previous good character and pro-social life.
He said Watson still has a house in the Philippines where he had continued with voluntary work to improve the living standards of local people and help with building affordable housing.
The judge told the former foreign aid worker, who was previously employed overseas with charities such as Oxfam and Save the Children, that he would have jailed him for nine years but for his guilty plea.
Detective Constable Lauren Miller of Fife’s Divisional Rape Investigation Unit said: “Steven Watson used his position to prey on an extremely vulnerable man in what was a despicable breach of trust.”
Watson was put on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.