North Devon care home worker denies rape and sexual assault charges

A care home worker allegedly raped and sexually abused four severely disabled women who were unable to resist or give consent to what was happening to them. At Exeter Crown Court, 57-year-old James Watts pleaded not guilty to three charges of rape, tw

A care home worker allegedly raped and sexually abused four severely disabled women who were unable to resist or give consent to what was happening to them.

At Exeter Crown Court, 57-year-old James Watts pleaded not guilty to three charges of rape, two of sexual assault, seven of sexual assault on a person with a mental disorder by a care worker and one of sexual assault on a person with a mental disorder causing an impediment.

Prosecutor Paul Dunkels QC said the offences occurred between 2005 and 2008 when Watts was working as a driver at a care home in North Devon. He said the victims suffered from severe and profound physical and mental problem including cerebral palsy.

Mr Dunkels told the jury that one of the alleged victims was so impaired that she would not be giving any evidence and others communicated by means other than speech. He said these included one using eye movements to convey 'yes' and 'no' in answer to questions.


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The jury heard that the offences came to light after a Japanese woman who started working at the home in August 2007 noticed Watts allegedly sexually touching victims while on outings from the care home. She would be giving her evidence via a live television link from Japan.

Mr Dunkels also told the jury that one of the alleged victims told how she had seen Watts kissing another of the women and touching her under her top.

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When Watts of Cheddon Cross Farm, Chulmleigh was arrested and interviewed about the allegations he made complete denials of the claims made against him.

The trial continues.

Ends.

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