16 Aug 2010

Former rest home worker jailed for sex assaults

4:09 pm on 16 August 2010

A former Blenhiem rest home employee who sexually assaulted vulnerable elderly residents has been jailed for two years and four months.

David Eric Neal, 55, was sentenced in the Blenheim District Court on Monday after admitting six charges of indecently assaulting five women at Redwood Rest Home.

Neal began working in the hospital ward of the rest home in February 2009 and for about 12 months assaulted the women, usually when he was helping to wash or dry them.

The victims were aged between 57 and 96, all with physical or mental illness.

One was a tetraplegic who read a victim impact statement to the court, saying she was too scared to speak out about the assaults until Neal was caught.

Judge Bruce Davidson said Neal exploited the vulnerability of elderly women and their inability to resist.