March 2018

Woman jailed for indecent assaults after sex attacks on child in her care

A former care home worker has received a 12-year jail sentence after sexually abusing a child in her care.

Helen May began grooming the child at a Thanet home, not realising the victim was keeping a diary.

And even after it was found – penned in a simple code which revealed the abuse – the boy was coerced into claiming it was fiction.

Now, many years later, May, 49 of Hopes Lane, Ramsgate has been jailed after a jury convicted her on seven indecent assault counts.

Prosecutor Samantha Cohen told how May encouraged the victim’s feelings, even though she was “clearly vulnerable”.

She told how it began with a kiss but quickly developed into a full sexual relationship under the noses of her bosses.

Ms Cohen revealed that on one occasion May was found in the same room as her victim – but claimed the child had just arrived to watch television.

Later the victim’s secret diary was discovered and police were called in – but the child told officers that none of it was true and no charges were brought.

The jury heard that even after leaving her job the relationship continued for another  couple of years.

But more than 15 years later, the victim confided to others and it was reported again to police who then charged May.

At her trial, she admitted having a relationship but claimed the sex only happened after the victim turned 16, but the jury rejected her account.

Defence barrister Tom Dunn told the judge: “She is not by nature a predatory sex offender and what happened was a unique occurrence.”

He added that those drawn to caring as a profession “by and large care deeply about others”.

Mr Dunn asked for a jail sentence which would offer May “light at the end of a long and very dark tunnel.”

But the judge, Recorder Catherine Brown, said cannabis-smoking May was flattered by the  attention from the victim, who should have been protected.

She added that the worker had used drugs and alcohol to encourage the attention and had caused the victim psychological damage.