We have had to report recently on a lot of men (and obviously it’s pretty much exclusively men) who work for the NHS who have been convicted of sexual offences against their patients.
For obvious reasons, this tends to lead to extremely long sentences. On 27th April 2015, there was another example as Andrew Hutchinson, a nurse from Oxfordshire, was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for “27 counts of rape, sexual assault and voyeurism committed from 2011 to 2013“.
These are very limited. It seems that Mr Hutchinson was initially arrested for voyeurism, but it transpired that he had filmed himself committing the above offences (the Oxford Mail has more detail). None of the women knew that they had been assaulted until they were contacted by the police after Mr Hutchinson was arrested for secretly filming women in a changing room at a Leisure Centre.
We don’t have an exact breakdown of the offences, but there were two counts of rape (which would have been the most serious offences) that were filmed being committed at the hospital.
The BBC got the sentence wrong. Or at least, they weren’t accurate. It wasn’t a sentence of 18 years (which would mean an automatic release after 9 years), but an extended sentence of 25 years, with an 18 year term, plus 7 years on licence. This does mean that Mr Hutchinson cannot be released until the Parole Board have determined that he no longer presents a risk, and the earliest this would be is after he has served 12 years. So this is a lot longer than the BBC story would indicated.
And as to the sentence? We don’t have enough details to comment, but the Judge would have started with the Sentencing Guidelines for Sexual Offences.
For the rapes, it seems that both victims were adults. On the face of it, this would appear to be a Category 2A offence, so a starting point of 10 years with a range up to 13 years.
Given that there was a guilty plea, it must be that the Judge took this as a Category 1A offence. There will have been an additional sentence for the other offences (but it may be that the Judge accounted for this when setting a global sentence).
The sentence does seem an extremely long one on the guidelines, but it may be that the offences are such that this was merited. Unless there is an appeal, we will probably never know (another good reason for publishing the sentencing remarks in as many cases as possible).