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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Drunken Whitehaven pensioner admits groping nurse

A drunken pensioner groped a female nurse who was trying to treat him in hospital.

Dennis Fox, 71, touched the breast of a staff nurse at the West Cumberland Hospital while she was attending to him when he was hospitalised after injuring himself in a drunken fall.

Fox also grabbed the nurse and tried to pull her on to a hospital bed during the episode that left the woman feeling “shocked, alarmed and distressed”.

Appearing before magistrates sitting at West Cumbria Courthouse yesterday, Fox, of Esk Avenue, Whitehaven, pleaded guilty to sexual assault – despite having little recollection of events. He was given a nine-month supervision order and must pay £250 court costs.

The incident, which happened on June 24, 2010, began when the nurse went into Fox’s cubicle to treat him. He quickly became aggressive and swore at the nurse, before trying to grab her around the waist but she was able to push him away.

He then made a lewd suggestion and asked the nurse to get into bed with him. It was at this point he reached out and touched her breast.

While the nurse was trying to apply a blood pressure cuff to Fox, he grabbed her arm and tried to pull her on to the bed. He let go when a doctor intervened.

A victim statement from the nurse was read to the court in which she described being “shocked, alarmed and distressed at the incident”. She added that she has since been unnerved at the prospect of Fox returning to the hospital for further treatment.

Solicitor Val Hendren, for Fox, said: “He can’t recall much about what happened but pleads guilty on the basis that he doesn’t want the lady to have to give evidence. It is clear he does have a problem with alcohol, and his offending started in 2010 during which time he has found it difficult to cope since his mother went into care.

“He is trying to reduce his consumption of alcohol.”

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