A psychiatric nursing assistant from Huddersfield has denied fondling a woman patient in her hospital room and asking to have sex with her after her discharge home.
Carl Tinker was caring for the 30-year-old patient at Newton Abbot Hospital in Devon but befriended her and allegedly touched her after they held hands and kissed during a short shopping trip.
The woman told Exeter Crown Court she blamed herself for the sexual encounters and only realised what he had done was wrong when she undertook a university course in health and social care six years later.
Nursing assistant Tinker, aged 49, who has worked at units at Newton Abbot and Torbay, but now lives in Trinity Street, Huddersfield, denies three counts of sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder by a carer.
Mr Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said the offences took place in 2007 after the woman attempted suicide and was admitted to Newton Abbot Hospital as a voluntary mental patient.
She was suffering from a behavioural disorder due to the misuse of alcohol and was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. She spent two short spells at the hospital with a trial period of release at home in between.
Mr Crabb said the charges relate to three incidents while she was a patient but there were two further encounters after she was discharged in which Tinker met her at home and in his car and there was further touching.
He said on the final occasion he had asked her to have sex with him but this had never happened and they had lost touch with each other.
She told family and friends at the time but only reported the case last year. Tinker was interviewed and denied any inappropriate touching.
Mr Crabb said:”We are concerned with an allegation that is mercifully quite rare. We are dealing with a situation in which a care worker took a sexual advantage of a psychiatric patient in his care.”
The woman told the jury Tinker had been one of the nurses looking after her in hospital. They got on well but the first physical contact came when he accompanied her on a short visit to nearby shops. She said he held her hand when they were out of sight of the hospital and kissed her, putting his tongue in her mouth.
She said the second incident happened as he was waking her and giving her morning medication and put a hand inside her pyjama top and touched one breast.
The former patient said the third incident at the hospital itself happened in the afternoon in her room where Tinker came in as she was brushing her hair.
She said:”He held the back of my head while he kissed me. I responded and kissed him back. He said he would have to stop doing this and could get into a lot of trouble. He said that a lot. He was very worried.
“The first time me visited me at home he wore an ID badge because he was worried about being seen. He said it would look official if he was recognised.”
She said he touched her sexually on that visit. On his next visit they went in his car to a beauty spot near Teignmouth Golf Club where she alleges he told her he wanted sex.
She said:”We talked in the car and he said it was doing his head in and it could not go on but he really wanted me. He had his left hand on the top of my leg, on my inside thigh”.
The case continues.