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Nurse guilty of sexually assaulting 85-year-old woman

A community nurse has been found guilty of sexually assaulting an 85-year-old woman during an unscheduled visit to her home.

Steven Hicks, 60, was convicted last week of one count of sexual assault by touching following a trial at Reading Crown Court.

“Hicks, at the time, was in a trusted profession”

Philippa Sharman

He is due to be sentenced this week at the same court.

Hicks, of Quentin Road, Woodley, was working as a registered nurse on the NHS Rapid Response Team at the time the crime was committed.

On 5 January 2022, Hicks conducted an unscheduled visit to the victim’s property and entered her home by pretending to be working from the orthopaedic department.

It was at the property where Hicks sexually assaulted the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Thames Valley police, who led the investigation, confirmed to Nursing Times that they were keeping an “open mind” as to whether there are more victims.

Specialist investigator Philippa Sharman said it was a “horrendous attack on a vulnerable woman”.

Ms Sharman said: “Hicks, at the time, was in a trusted profession.

“He researched the victim, knowing they no longer needed evening care, orchestrated an unscheduled visit to her home address, knowing he would not be disturbed when committing this assault, and abused the power that was bestowed upon him.

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“The investigation into this assault has shown him and demonstrates to the public that we will not tolerate this behaviour and ensure that no one should be made to feel unsafe in their own home.”

Ms Sharman added that the victim had shown “incredible dignity and courage throughout this case”.

She added: “Thames Valley Police is relentless in its pursuit and disruption of perpetrators of violence against women and girls.”

Hicks’ sentencing is expected to take place on Thursday, 25 January.

His entry on the Nursing and Midwifery Council register shows he is currently subject to an interim suspension order, meaning he is unable to practise as a nurse.

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