Belfast Telegraph

Sobbing Northern Ireland nurse tells of sex assault by patient

By Staff Reporter

A jury has taken less than two minutes to decide a sexual attack on a staff nurse was committed in a Finding of Fact procedure.

Jonathan Fegan (32), whose address was formerly given as the facility in which the incident occurred, has since been transferred to another unit.

He was not at court for the hearing at Dungannon Crown Court yesterday.

The identities of both facilities and the health trusts cannot be disclosed to protect the victim. Fegan was a patient in the first facility for some time when the attack occurred on May 18, 2016.

The victim, a staff nurse at the facility for over 10 years, was on night duty with a male colleague at the time.

She recalled seeing Fegan "loitering" around her office when she began her shift at 8pm. Soon afterwards she observed him come out of the toilets, naked.

She asked her male colleague to check on Fegan as female staff were under instructions not to be alone with him.

The victim recalled Fegan had been given his medication and understood he was settled down for the night in his room.

However, at around 11.45pm the victim was sitting in a ward office, writing up paperwork.

Sobbing, she explained how Fegan entered the office and attacked her.

Fegan made off and fled to his room, where he got into bed and pulled a sheet over his head.

Both the staff members challenged Fegan on his behaviour, who "aggressively told us to get out of his room. He would not communicate".

Given the nature of the attack, police were called, and Fegan was arrested.

The interview transcript was read to the court by the police officer who questioned Fegan.

Asked why he went to the nurse's office that night, he replied: "To fool around."

When the officer asked Fegan why he was naked, he responded: "I wanted to have sex with (the victim)."

The jury deliberated for just short of two minutes, before returning a unanimous finding that the offence was committed. His Honour Judge Stephen Fowler QC said reports will be prepared, which will address what support is required and measures that can be imposed to reduce risk to the public.

The finding is not a conviction and as such there will be no sentence. However, Fegan will be subject to sex offender notification requirements.

Fegan remains in a secure unit.

Belfast Telegraph

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