Heathcare worker from Luton who "exploited" a patient "for his own sexual gratification" is jailed

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A healthcare worker from Luton has been jailed for ‘exploiting’ a patient “for his own sexual gratification”.

Jawaid Murtaza, aged 56, of Blenheim Crescent, pleaded guilty to two of the four charges of “engaging in sexual activity with a mentally disordered female” while he was working as a healthcare assistant.

He was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday (May 10) to 40 months behind bars for the two counts, while the remaining two charges will lie on file.

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East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) said: “ELFT unreservedly apologises for the assaults on the victim of Murtaza and has continued to offer her support.

Jawaid Murtaza. Picture: Bedfordshire PoliceJawaid Murtaza. Picture: Bedfordshire Police
Jawaid Murtaza. Picture: Bedfordshire Police

“The Trust acted promptly on her complaint and Murtaza was immediately suspended and later dismissed. We are confident that this was an isolated incident, and no further assaults took place against any other service user.”

Detective Inspector Clare Gilbert from Bedfordshire Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People unit, said: “This was a sad case where Murtaza exploited a woman for his own sexual gratification. This offence will have a significant impact on the victim and her family, and support has been provided through our specialist officers and partnership services.

“This case is just one of many which demonstrates our commitment to tackling offenders and keeping vulnerable people safe.

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“If you are ever concerned about a colleague or someone you know then it is never too late to report your suspicions, or if you have been a victim of abuse, please report it, as support is always available.”

The Trust said that since the incident, it has “strengthened its induction training to ensure staff are absolutely clear about the boundaries between staff and patients and everyone has undertaken safeguarding training”.

It added: “However, if anyone has any cause for concern regarding the perpetrator of this crime or any other allegation of sexual assault by staff, they are encouraged to contact the following number 0800 7834839.”