Ban on outside visits for rapist in voyeur scare

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A RAPIST who spied on a teenage girl in a toilet after being let out of a secure unit to watch a Harry Potter film has been barred from going out in public.

Steveland Robinson, 25, was given an indefinite hospital order after raping a waitress in a restaurant toilet.

But while being held at the Humber Centre near Hull last July, he went on a trip to the Cineworld cinema in Kingswood accompanied by a carer.

He was allowed to go to the toilet by himself but went into the ladies where he spied on the teenager who was in a cubicle. She spotted him staring down at her over the dividing wall with a “creepy” smile on his face

Robinson, who admitted a charge of voyeurism at an earlier hearing, was given a 12-month conditional discharge at Hull Crown Court. The indefinite order means he cannot be released without the permission of the Home Secretary.

When he last appeared in court Judge Michael Mettyear demanded those responsible for the patient to explain how the incident could have happened.

In a letter read to the court yesterday Dr Caroline Bradley, consultant forensic psychiatrist at Stockton Hall, near York, where Robinson is now held, said he was now not allowed out, escorted or unescorted.

It added: “I would not expect this situation to change until there is a significant reduction in his risk to the public. I would expect that access to the community in the future will only begin after a period of relaxation in the facility.”

Judge Mettyear said: “That stalls the fears that I have and I am very pleased.”

Speaking after the case, Yvonne Traynor, from the charity Rape Crisis, questioned the policy that permitted Robinson to go on the visit. “How do we know he’s not a danger to the public? The only way you can know is letting him out,” she said. “You have to rely on his background and the crime he has committed already and understand that this man is never going to be safe in terms of the public.”

Inmates on hospital orders are allowed to go out on supervised visits as part of their recovery.

The Humber NHS Foundation Trust said it had tightened up procedures in the wake of the incident and in a statement apologised to the victim, adding: “We have held an internal investigation into what happened and have implemented all the actions that arose from this.

“These included extra staff training for all forensic services staff on managing patients who have a challenging presentation and on accompanying patients on leave.

“We have also changed the way we record decision-making so that the responsibilities of the escort are more explicit.”

The Trust said the Ministry of Justice oversaw the cases of most of the inmates sent to hospital for treatment. “The majority of such patients have the conduct of their case overseen by the Ministry of Justice, whose focus is on protection of the public. They must give consent for any movement of such patients, whether this is leave, transfer, or discharge.

“The process of requesting the Ministry of Justice to grant leave and the process by which granting of leave is put into action and monitored involve extensive multidisciplinary debate by a clinical team comprising a number of professionals. They consider the progress the patient has made, the possible benefit of leave set against the risk that might be presented to others and the safeguards which can be put into place.

“Frequently the Ministry of Justice will specify conditions under which the leave can take place and the clinical team will then add their own monitoring structure which may include provisions as to escorting, venues to be visited and other specific measures.

“Leave is an important part of a patient’s treatment and rehabilitation, as is protection of the public, which is why the decision-making process is rigorous.”

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