Victim’s families outraged by sentence

Mt Eliza nursing home employee receives a controversial sentence for rape crime.

Henry Alexander, 36, has been given a three year sentence for digitally raping an elderly woman at a Mt Eliza nursing home, where he worked as a personal care attendant. He will only serve 6 months of his sentence, the remaining 2 ½ years suspended by the judge.

Defending his decision, Judge Michael Bourke, said he had taken into account the mitigating circumstances of the case and the evidence given by his colleagues and supervisors who testified to Alexander being usually caring and compassionate. “I have come to the view it would be unjust not to reflect such matters by a significantly reduced sentence,” said Judge Bourke.

In February 2006, news that Alexander had been charged with sexually assaulting four elderly women, all sufferers of severe dementia prompted the Howard government to call an emergency aged care summit. Alexander was later acquitted of charges in two of the cases and the fourth case was permanently stayed. The granddaughter of one of the women whom Alexander was acquitted of raping said the six-month term was more appropriate for traffic offences. “It’s not appropriate to fit the crime. They’re our most vulnerable, frail people in the community, and we don’t believe there’s justice there,” Gail Chilianis said.

Judge Bourke said there was no evidence of a psycho-sexual disorder, and he was satisfied Alexander had not been sexually motivated and believed Alexander was unlikely to re-offend. The Office of Public Prosecutions said it would review the sentence.

An in-depth discussion of the original case and the issues surrounding it is available by clicking on the following link: http://www.intermedia.com.au/images/pdf/TheAbuseFixAprMay06.pdf

Tags: rape-dementia-emergency-aged-care-summit,

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