Monday, 28 July 2008

Qld nurse jailed for raping patient

A male nurse who raped a female patient after treating her for a migraine has been jailed for five years.

The Supreme Court in Brisbane was on Monday told the 27-year-old woman was lying in a cubicle at the Beenleigh Medeco Medical Centre in Brisbane when the offence took place in September last year.

Prosecutor Jodie Wooldridge said the woman was at the centre seeking morphine for a severe migraine.

As she was a first-time patient the doctor refused to prescribe morphine, but instructed registered nurse Nicholas Allan Carroll, 45, of Hillcrest, south of Brisbane, to administer different painkillers.

The court was told Carroll did so, but later ignored the doctor's instructions by returning with a second injection, this time containing morphine.

Ms Wooldridge told the court Carroll injected the woman with the drug, and then immediately orally raped her.

The court was told there was no evidence that Carroll had given the woman the drug to stupefy her.

The woman went to the police that evening and filed a report, and provided them with a sample of Carroll's DNA.

The court was told she went back to the medical centre the following day to confront Carroll.

He admitted he knew what he had done was wrong, but that he told her he had done it because "you're pretty and I'm weak".

He on Monday pleaded guilty to one count each of rape and supplying a dangerous drug.

Defence barrister Wayne Tolton said his client had been suffering from bipolar disorder, which clouded his judgment.

"It made him think he could do anything," Mr Tolton said.

He told the court Carroll's life had been destroyed following the offence, as he had lost his wife of 21 years and was unable to continue practising nursing.

However Justice John Byrne told the court the rape had a "shattering effect" on the victim, who needed ongoing counselling for depression and anxiety.

Carroll was sentenced to five years' jail.

He will be eligible for parole in March 2010.

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