Glasgow & West Scotland

Care home rapist Stephen Murray jailed for seven years

Stephen Murray
Image caption Murray admitted the offences when questioned by police

A care worker who admitted the rape and sexual assault of vulnerable elderly women in his care has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

Stephen Murray, 44, from Larkhall, committed the offences at a care home in South Lanarkshire between December 2010 and April 2012.

During a previous hearing at the High Court in Glasgow, he admitted raping a 65-year-old dementia patient.

He also sexually abused two women, aged 84 and 74, who had Alzheimer's.

Police said Murray had carried out a "sickening catalogue of crimes".

Jailing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, judge Lord Turnbull said the nature of the abuse was "truly shocking towards deeply vulnerable people" and "demonstrated a callous and outrageous breach of trust".

The judge told Murray, who was previously placed on the sex offenders register, that his depravity was reflected in choosing victims who could not communicate.

A previous hearing was told how all three of Murray's victims required round-the-clock care at the home in Lanarkshire, which has not been named for legal reasons.

Admitted rape

It heard that Murray was caught with his trousers at his ankles in the room of the 65-year-old woman.

His victim was naked from the waist down.

Advocate depute Alison Di Rollo, prosecuting, said that Murray was caught by a nightshift colleague.

He was interviewed at Hamilton police station and admitted raping the woman.

While being questioned Murray admitted sexually abusing two other dementia patients.

In court, Murray pleaded guilty to raping the woman at the care home in April. He also admitted sexually abusing two other residents.

The court heard that Murray had worked as a carer all his adult life since leaving school and had been at that care home for three years.

The prosecutor said: "He appeared to enjoy his work as a carer and was described as a 'happy-go-lucky guy' who was never depressed."

Ms Di Rollo added: "In view of the complainers severe dementia and communication difficulties, it has been impossible to assess the direct impact, if any, that the accused's offending has had on them."

She added: "The complainers' immediate families are shocked, disgusted and devastated by the offences."

'Despicable crimes'

Det Sgt Robert Bryce from Strathclyde Police said: "We are especially grateful for the co-operation of the families in what was a very harrowing time for them. We hope that this admission of guilt will assist them in coming to terms with the effects of these despicable crimes.

"I would like to reassure the public that we are satisfied that we have captured and acted on all the available evidence and would like to also reassure that Strathclyde Police remain committed to keeping the public safe, no matter where they are in our community."

Nicky Patrick, procurator fiscal for High Court sexual crime in the West of Scotland, added: "Stephen Murray has pleaded guilty to horrific attacks on vulnerable patients for whom he should have been providing care.

"He preyed on his victims, who required 24-hour care for dementia, and betrayed their trust in the most vile of ways."

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