Man jailed for sexual assault on care home OAP, 88

A MAN who sexually assaulted an elderly woman in a care home is today behind bars. Reginald Wynne Griffiths, 56, was spotted by a member of staff kissing and fondling the 88-year-old pensioner, who was physically infirm and suffered from dementia.

He denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court last month.

Jailing him for two years yesterday, Judge Merfyn Hughes QC said: “She was in what everyone would have supposed was a place of safety.

“What you did was nothing other than a shocking and disturbing attack on a defenceless old lady.”

Griffiths, of Ffordd Alban, Tywyn, must also register as a sex offender for 10 years.

He showed no emotion as he was sentenced and led away from the dock to the cells.

The attack took place in June 2008 and the woman died this January. The judge added: “The aggravating features are of course her great age and vulnerability. It’s not possible to know how your offending affected her during the last months of her life.”

Prosecutor Karl Scholz said the pensioner had been a resident at the home in Gwynedd, and Griffiths had been visiting another resident. The court heard Griffiths had been warned he was not to visit any other person in the home “without the express permission” of staff.

But he went into a room where he believed the woman would be sitting alone. “He then carried out the attack,” said Mr Scholz. A member of staff saw what was going on and alerted others.

The victim’s eyesight and hearing were poor and she was described as being an “extremely vulnerable lady”. She did tell Griffiths to stop what he was doing, but: “She would have been unable to do anything to prevent you,” the judge remarked.

The jury heard that in 2006 there was a probe into an allegation of an indecent assault on another resident at the home, and three visitors, including Griffiths, were all potential suspects. No charges were brought.

A Gwynedd Council spokesman said: “The council has procedures to ensure, as much as is reasonably possible, the safety of all council care home residents. These include the monitoring of visitors when they enter our residential homes. In accordance with the council’s protection of vulnerable adults policy, this incident was investigated by a multi-agency team which included social services and North Wales Police. Safety procedures at the home were thoroughly reviewed. The council is satisfied it has appropriate measures in place to safeguard residents.”