Mental health nurse jailed for ‘abhorrent’ sex offences against women

John Ryan, 64, of Heatherstone Road, West Worthing, has been sentenced to a total of four-and-a-half years in prison after admitting four sexual offences committed against two adult women. Picture: Sussex Police

A former mental health nurse has been sentenced for sexual offences against two women.

John Ryan, 64, of Heatherstone Road, West Worthing, has been sentenced to a total of four-and-a-half years in prison after admitting four sexual offences committed against two adult women.

A Sussex Police spokesman said Ryan was sentenced when he appeared in custody at Hove Crown Court on Friday, having pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to four offences.

He was given four years for an attempted sexual assault on one woman, and six months for the sexual assault on the other woman.

The court imposed no separate penalty for the other two offences, the spokesman added.

He will be a registered sex offender for life, and was also given a sexual harm prevention order to last until further court order.

Ryan was also given an indefinite restraining order, prohibiting any contact with the two women, the spokesman said.

Police said at the time of the offences Ryan was employed by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

He was suspended on his arrest in January and has since been dismissed.

Detective Constable Jane Mills, of Sussex Police, described the investigation, which involved the force working with the trust and council, as ‘sensitive and complex’.

She added: “It is important that people know that the police will always take reports of this nature seriously. I encourage anyone with any concerns relating to this investigation, and anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence in any circumstances, to contact Sussex Police on 101 or online and arrange to talk in confidence to experienced investigators.”

Diane Hull, chief nurse at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “My thoughts today are with the victims and their families.

“John Ryan’s actions were abhorrent.

“His behaviour goes against everything the nursing profession, the NHS and our Trust stands for.”

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