Published: 10:00, 23 June 2014
A pervert handyman repeatedly molested an elderly care home resident as she lay helpless in her bed, a court heard.
Michael Fleming sneaked into the 88-year-old woman's room at Westbank Care Home in Borough Green, near Sevenoaks, and groped her breasts.
A nurse raised her suspicions about Fleming, 65, with her boss after she saw him acting suspiciously and zipping up his trousers - but nothing was done.
She then installed a secret camera in the room and his sordid behaviour was exposed.
A judge admitted as he jailed Fleming, of Sheridan Close, Maidstone, for three years: "The sentence is not going to appease her family - and why should it?"
Maidstone Crown Court heard the nurse was walking past the room of the victim, who suffered from a mental disorder, when she saw Fleming standing by her bed.
"He realised she had seen him and physically jumped," said prosecutor Alexia Zimbler. "She saw him zipping up his trousers as he walked to the sink, seemingly testing the water and the tank.
"She noticed the bed guard rail had been lowered. She checked back later and saw that the cot side was down again.
"This caused her concern and reported it to the clinical nurse manager. However, her concerns were dismissed by the manager.
"But she was worried and decided to do something about it. She bought a small spy camera and placed it in the room in September last year."
She removed it at the end of the day and looked at it with her husband a few days later.
"They were startled to see the defendant entering the room," said Miss Zimbler. "He placed his hand down the top of her nightie and touched her breast area.
"This went on for some 30 seconds. He rearranged her clothing so that it didn't look as though anything happened."
When arrested, Fleming admitted going to the woman's room to molest her. He pleaded guilty to five offences of sexual activity.
Judge Jeremy Carey told him: "At the age of 65 you stand before this court a sex offender."
The judge said he had no way of knowing the extent to which the victim was aware of how degrading Fleming's behaviour was.
"I have no doubt those who care for her are upset and, I suspect, very angry - and why not," he added.
"There is an expectation that those who commit this kind of offending will be severely punished. I see nothing in this case which would lead me to a different conclusion."
"I have no doubt those who care for her are upset and, I suspect, very angry - and why not..." - Judge Jeremy Carey
Judge Carey praised the nurse for "her sense of duty and presence of mind in doing what she did".
"Having been effectively dismissed by the clinical nurse manager she was not prepared to let that happen and took matters into her own hands," he said.
There was substantial mitigation including remorse and candour by Fleming in admitting there had been other assaults, the judge added.
"You have lost your good name," said the judge. "You have fallen from that position by a very long way. I suspect your wife and family are deeply ashamed of you."
He was struck by the "modest terms" of a statement made by the victim's son and the way there had been no cry for "what is perceived to be justice".
The judge added: "The family are to be commended for their restraint in difficult circumstances."
Fleming's name will appear on the sex offenders' register.
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