Convicted rapist allowed to live in care home where he sexually assaulted dementia sufferer

Robert Carpenter was placed in a care home with people suffering from dementia. (Humberside Police)
Robert Carpenter was placed in a care home with people suffering from dementia. (Humberside Police)

A convicted rapist who was living in a care home has been jailed after he was caught sexually assaulting a resident suffering with dementia.

Robert Carpenter, 66, pleaded guilty to causing a person with a mental disorder to engage in sexual activity.

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He was jailed in 2010 for six years after he attacked and raped a woman as she was walking to work in Scunthorpe in 1979.

He was caught 30 years later after police matched his DNA to the crime scene.

Despite his criminal record, he was placed at the mixed-gender care home after he sustained burns at his "squalid flat" by Hull City Council as an "emergency placement".

Although the majority of other residents at the care home had "some form of dementia" and lacked mental capacity, Carpenter did not.

Even after he was caught for the first incident he was bailed to a mixed-gender hostel in the city, which a judge described as ‘disturbing’.

The care home victim's husband said he felt "immense anger towards Carpenter and those who placed Carpenter in the home.

Hull Crown Court, pictured, heard how staff knew about had Carpenter’s criminal record and that the defendant had talked about having a previous conviction for rape. (Getty)
Hull Crown Court, pictured, heard how staff knew about had Carpenter’s criminal record and that the defendant had talked about having a previous conviction for rape. (Getty)

In a victim statement read by prosecutor Claire Holmes, he said: "I still continue to feel so guilty. [She] is the love of my life. It was my role to protect her and I feel I’ve let her down so badly.

"It is something I think about every day and and it keeps me awake at night."

Hull Crown Court heard how staff knew about had Carpenter’s criminal record and that the defendant had talked about having a previous conviction for rape, yet was allowed to stay at the home for three months before a staff member walked into a communal area and saw Carpenter sexually assaulting the woman.

When asked what he was doing, Carpenter said "nothing".

The care home, which has not been identified to protect the identity of the victim, has since referred itself to the Care Quality Commission.

Carpenter told police he suffered from depression and that he had drank five cans of 7.5 per cent strength alcohol before the incident.

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Before sentencing, Judge Bury questioned if the council considered Carpenter’s history before he was referred to the home.

The council has offered its "most sincere sympathies" to the family of the victim.

Jailing Carpenter for seven and a half years, the judge said he knew "full well" his victim lacked capacity and took advantage of that for his own sexual gratification.

In a statement, a Hull City Council spokesman said: “We are taking this issue extremely seriously.

“A review is already under way involving all relevant parties and its findings will be shared across all agencies to avoid incidents such as this from happening in the future.”

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