A CARER has been jailed after sexually assaulting a disabled woman.

Vicky Hooper preyed upon her victim, who suffers from a nerve condition and who was in her care at the time. 

During a sentencing hearing today, the court heard the pair got on well but Hooper, who worked for a Braintree agency, had trouble understanding boundaries.

Sophie Chaplin, mitigating, said: “It was not disputed they went beyond the usual client and carer relationship, potentially friendship, that is evident in text messages.

“She is someone of previous character who has a history of working in the care industry without difficulties.

“She is in a relationship now and her history has slightly highlighted she has those relationships which are all-consuming.

“She does not have the usual tool set or understanding and acknowledgement of normal relationships.”

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

The court heard Hooper, who has borderline learning disabilities, had studied for an NVQ in care after leaving school at 16.

Sentencing Hooper, Judge Emma Peters said: “You were well aware of the need to do things properly and respect appropriate boundaries.

“You knew what you were doing was wrong, she knew what you were doing was wrong.

“You describe yourself as bi-sexual but this was not a lady who wanted your sexual attention.

“She felt utterly helpless and her whole sense of being was questioned by what you did.

“This is so serious nothing short of immediate custody will suffice.”

Hooper, 29, of Trinity Court, Halstead, was sentenced to three years in prison for sexual assault by penetration, one year for sexual assault and two months for exposure, to run concurrently.

The offences took place in March 2016. 

She will serve up to half of that in custody and must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for ten years.

She was also banned from working in the care sector.