Mental health nurse had sexual relationship with patient at secure clinic

Jill McLaren, 37, began a secret relationship with the man she knew from a secure clinic in Glasgow where she worked.

Mental health nurse had sexual relationship with patient at Glasgow clinic SNS Group

A nurse at a mental health unit who embarked on a relationship with a patient has been put on the sex offenders register.

Jill McLaren, 37, began a secret sexual relationship with the man she knew from the secure clinic in Glasgow where she worked.

This included her taking him to her home under the guise of an escorted Christmas shopping trip.

McLaren pled guilty to engaging in sexual activity with the man as she appeared in the dock at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The crime spanned between July 2018 and September 2019.

Prosecutors accepted not guilty pleas to similar allegations that she was involved with two other patients at the unit.

McLaren, of Greenock, Inverclyde, was ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work and put under supervision for 18 months.

McLaren was also tagged for five months keeping her indoors between 9pm and 6am between Sundays and Fridays.

Sheriff Gerard Considine further stated that the restriction of liberty order will not apply on a Saturday, Christmas Day or New Years Eve as McLaren is a mum-of-two.

The sheriff said: “There is no doubt this was a gross breach of trust.

“The law protects people suffering from mental disorders – such conduct was wrong.

“You used a false name to contact him which is an aggravating feature as was the location and the time involved.

“I accept that you have shown remorse and understand such relationships with someone with a mental disorder is unlawful.

“The deterioration in his mental health was significant at the end of the relationship.

“At the time your own mental health was fragile and have since been diagnosed.

“This was such that you should not have been working with people with complex mental needs with your own needs at the time.

“You have been publicly humiliated.”

McLaren was put on the sex offenders register for 18 months.

The court heard how the nurse and the man started frequently chatting about their shared love for fitness.

She then told him she started a shift on his ward in order to “see him” and they began to flirt with each other.

The pair agreed that if McLaren wished to speak to him outside of the clinic she should use a different name.

After leaving her permanent post at the unit in August 2019, McLaren ended the relationship.

Staff on the unit became suspicious after recognising McLaren’s voice when she called to ask for the patient.

The man’s mental health deteriorated after he was made aware that the staff knew about the relationship.

He later confessed to his lawyer and staff at the unit about what was going on.

McLaren was arrested.

Her defence advocate, Euan Dow, told the court McLaren “didn’t seek to excuse or minimise” her behaviour or blame the victim.

“She was at a low ebb in her life and was flattered by the attention she received,” he said.

“What was flirtatious, ultimately crossed a boundary and became physical to the extent we have heard.

“By then, she felt unable to extricate herself from the position she found herself in.

“She told him it was wrong and could not continue but she felt intimidated by him and was threatened by him if she ended it as he would disclose the relationship to other members of staff.”

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