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Care worker jailed for 11 years after ‘life-changing’ sex attack on vulnerable victim

PUBLISHED: 10:11 13 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:31 13 October 2018

Robert Smith, of St Catherine's Way, Gorleston, was found guilty of sex offences against a vulnerable victim

Robert Smith, of St Catherine's Way, Gorleston, was found guilty of sex offences against a vulnerable victim

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A 64-year-old care worker who sexually assaulted a woman with mental health issues has been jailed for more than 11 years.

Robert Smith, of St Catherine’s Way, Gorleston, was found guilty of sex offences against a vulnerable victim when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court today.

Smith was arrested by Norfolk Police’s Adult Abuse Investigation Unit the day after the incident in Great Yarmouth in July 2016, and he was charged in February 2018 with three counts of penatrative sexual activity and two counts of sexual activity, all with a person with a mental disorder impeding choice.

Returning to the court today, Smith was sentenced to 11 years and six months imprisonment and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

DC Nick Appleton, from the AAIU, said: “This sentencing marks the end of what has been a long and difficult investigation.

“The impact of this case on the victim and her loved ones has been life changing and the courage she has shown throughout is commendable.

“Throughout the investigation, Smith has denied all offences and shown no remorse for what he has done and I am pleased he has received a significant custodial sentence.

“Norfolk Constabulary remains dedicated to safeguarding vulnerable adults and identifying those that offend against them.

“I urge anyone who has been victim of sexual abuse, past or present, to come forward in the faith that we will do all we can to bring those responsible to justice.”

Since being set up in 2001 as the first of its kind in the UK, the Adult Abuse Investigation Unit continues to investigate allegations of abuse against vulnerable adults, including physical, financial, sexual or emotional abuse.

The unit works closely with local partner agencies such as Social Services and health providers to investigate offences and safeguard adults from abuse.

Anyone concerned about an adult being at risk is urged to contact Norfolk Adult Social Services on 0344 800 8020, or call Norfolk Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency, or go to www.norfolk.police.uk for help and support.

Alternatively, go to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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