A trainee church minister has been ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for ten years after he forced himself on a vulnerable woman in a hospital corridor while working as an NHS support worker.

Devout Christian Patrice Agyarey, 65, has been ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for 10 years after admitting grabbing his victim and kissing her for 15 seconds.

The 43-year-old he targeted complained to NHS bosses but Agyarey claimed she was someone ‘who needed help’.

Prosecutor Justin Hayhoe told Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester: ‘The defendant was her main carer and had previously worked at a residential care home.

Advertisement

Advertisement

‘The defendant had previously charged with another offence, for which he was subsequently acquitted. He had first appeared in court for that matter six days before he committed this offence.

‘The victim had given him her phone number and he would flatter her and say she was beautiful. He sent what appeared to be caring messages telling her she should not be self-harming.

‘In the early evening of October 24 the victim and some other patients went for a cigarette break which the defendant supervised.

‘The victim was on medication following an operation and wanted to return to her room. But he then took hold of her and snogged her.

‘The incident can be seen on CCTV. It took place at the bottom of the stairs and lasted around 15 seconds.’

The incident occurred on October 24, 2018, while the woman was a voluntary in-patient at the psychiatric unit in Fairfield General Hospital, Bury. She had bipolar disorder and suffered from bouts of self-harm.

It emerged Agyarey, of Heywood, near Rochdale, had appeared in court a week before the offence charged with ill treating a man with mental health difficulties. He was acquitted for this.

Mr Hayhoe added: ‘The defendant later called her to try and stop her reporting the incident and those calls were shown to the manager. She also received a text from him calling her a “rat”.

‘When asked about this he said the complainant had texted him an offensive message after the incident but she said it was done in anger following the assault on her.

‘She said his behaviour was “bang out of order” and that he should not be working at the hospital.’

When interviewed in December 2018, the defendant claimed the victim ‘was a very vulnerable person who could not make decisions for herself’ and called the allegations ‘bizarre’.

He denied the allegations, claiming he had given the woman a hug.

Mr Hayhoe said: ‘He said he had worked in the area since 2015 and at this hospital since spring 2018.

‘He said he was experienced and had received a lot of training about his obligations towards patients. He said he had children and had to act as a role model. He said he was a church goer.’

In mitigation defence lawyer Martin Sharpe said: ‘The defendant is 65 and of positive good character. He is a devout man with a Christian ministry certificate.

‘A reference from another worker at the employment agency described him as kind and caring, and said he is not an overbearing character at all. They said he is softly spoken and well suited to working in the care profession.

Advertisement

Advertisement

‘He did try to minimise his involvement but was aware his behaviour was inappropriate and very unprofessional.’

Mr Sharpe claimed the victim sent Agyarey a racially offensive text message after the incident.

He added: ‘He did put his arm around her but during the time of these offences she had his arm around him. He initiated and controlled the experience, but her arm clearly went around his body.

‘He clearly needs help so he can understand what he did was wrong. He will not have the chance to work in the care sector again and has an extremely low risk of re-offending.

‘He has lived in Manchester for the past five years, has always worked when he can and has a longstanding involvement with the church.

‘His primary social relationships are through church, his brother who lives in London and his two step-children who are at university.’

He was given 16 months in prison suspended for two years, and was also ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation requirement days.

Sentencing Agyarey, Judge Bernadette Baxter told him: ‘You were a man of good character who was trusted at work.

‘Unfortunately, you breached that trust by committing this sexual assault on a woman you knew was vulnerable and had bipolar disorder.

‘You embraced her and kissed her in an unwelcome advance and she had the gumption to report your behaviour to your superiors.

‘If you are a devoted man of the church as you say you are, you will want to examine why you told such dreadful lies and placed blame on your victim.’

Advertisement

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Advertisement

Advertisement