Care worker who sexually abused pensioners has jail term increased

A care worker who sexually abused elderly vulnerable women had his prison sentence increased by judges after appealing it.

Stephen Murray previously admitting indecently assaulting 84 and 74-year-old dementia sufferers as well as raping a woman aged 65 at the South Lanarkshire care home her worked at.

The 44-year-old had been jailed for seven years for the offences and had attempted to get this term reduced through the Court of Criminal Appeal.

However, on Friday, the Lord Justice General, Lord Gill, sitting with the Lord Justice Clerk, Lord Carloway, and Lady Paton, rejected his claim that he should receive a greater discount on his sentence.

Instead, Murray, from Larkhall, had his jail term increased to nine and a half years for carrying out the sex attacks between December 2010 and last April.

Lord Gill wrote: "The crimes to which the appellant pled guilty were vile. They involved a grievous abuse of trust. The appellant committed these offences against helpless women whom it was his duty to treat caringly and respectfully.

"His conduct is aggravated by the fact, that on his own admission, he chose his victims because they were incapable of any meaningful communication with others. The consequences of these crimes on others should not be underestimated. It is little wonder that the appellant's conduct put at least three of his colleagues into a state of shock."

The Lord Justice General said that he considered that the starting sentence should have been 12 years, instead of nine in the original case, which would be reduced to nine and a half years following the guilty plea.

Murray was found by a colleague with one of the residents at the home he sexually assaulted. He later said: "I'm so ashamed, people will think I am a pervert." Police were called but before they arrived he cut his neck with scissors in an apparent suicide attempt.

He later admitted raping one dementia sufferer in April and abusing the other two. The families of the victims were described as being "shocked, disgusted and devastated" by the offences.

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