Ex-nurse at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford admits raping patients

Andrew Hutchinson Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Andrew Hutchinson is due to be sentenced on 27 April

A former senior hospital nurse has admitted raping, sexually assaulting and spying on female patients including some who were unconscious.

Andrew Hutchinson, who worked at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, pleaded guilty to 27 counts including rape, voyeurism and sexual assault.

The 29-year-old also admitted spying on women at a leisure centre and sexually assaulting women at a music festival.

His victims were aged between 10 and 35, Oxford Crown Court heard.

Hutchinson, from Abingdon, sexually assaulted four unconscious women, in curtained areas in the hospital's A&E department and at Wilderness music festival.

'Complicated case'

He also used a camera to spy on women and children at the White Horse Leisure Centre in Abingdon.

The offences took place between 2011 and 2013.

Hutchinson was sacked by the hospital after he was arrested.

He was arrested by Thames Valley Police on suspicion of voyeurism offences at the leisure centre in November 2013 and charged in December last year.

Police also found images on devices, including a mobile phone, a memory stick and a camera, seized from Hutchinson which revealed other incidents.

He has been remanded for sentencing on 27 April.

Police said all identifiable victims had been contacted and given support.

Det Ch Insp Mark Johns described the case as "complicated and unusual" as the victims of sexual assault were not conscious.

"I have no doubt that Hutchinson would have continued to offend had he not been arrested," he said.

'Rogue practitioner'

Mark Power, from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said it took "immediate action" to suspend Hutchinson in November 2013 following allegations of theft against him.

The trust also informed the Nursing and Midwifery Council and launched an internal investigation which led to his dismissal.

Mr Power said Hutchinson was CRB checked by the trust but he had no previous convictions so no "issues" were identified.

The trust has "robust policies and procedures to manage patients safely" within all its departments, as well as a "range of mechanisms" to safeguard vulnerable patients.

Mr Power said the "ultimate responsibility for these appalling offences must rest with Andrew Hutchinson".

He said staff had been "devastated" by his actions but added it was "not possible to eliminate the risk of a rogue practitioner entirely".

The trust has since made changes, including in the emergency department where unconscious patients are now treated in the same area and with "open visibility".

At the time of the offences, unconscious patients were "more spread out" within the department, Mr Power said.

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