Carer who filmed attacks on nursing home residents gets suspended sentence
Peter Hilliard (54) was caught after uploading footage of sexual assault to Facebook
A careworker who filmed two sexual assaults on vulnerable residents in a care home has received a suspended prison sentence of 18 months. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times
A careworker who filmed his sexual assaults on vulnerable residents in a care home has received a suspended prison sentence of 18 months.
The offences came to light in June 2016 when a colleague of Hilliard’s saw a video on Hilliard’s Facebook page of him sexually assaulting an elderly resident.
Hilliard had recorded himself touching the woman’s breasts before putting the video up on Facebook, Garda Shane Whelan told the court.
The staff member alerted gardaí, who went to Hilliard’s house at Bolbrook Grove, Tallaght, Co Dublin, and seized laptops and mobile phones.
During a digital search of this equipment, investigators found a second video, filmed sometime after February 2013, in which Hilliard carried out a similar attack on another resident of the care home.
Mr Whelan told Dean Kelly BL, prosecuting, that Hilliard had no previous convictions. After his arrest, Hilliard told gardaí he felt bad about his actions and said: “I thought about killing myself.”
The court heard that at the time of the assaults Hilliard was suffering from sleep deprivation as a result of working so many hours.
He told gardaí that the mobile phone footage of the later assault was uploaded accidentally to Facebook because he didn’t know how to operate his phone.
Kieran Kelly BL, defending, told the court that his client was sorry for his actions.
Judge Terence O’Sullivan noted that as a result of his actions Hilliard had lost his job and was now unemployable in the health sector. The judge said that he had engaged with counselling services since the offending came to light.
He suspended a sentence of 18 months on condition that Hilliard keeps the peace and attends a weekly therapy group.
He also ordered that Hilliard place himself under the supervision of the Probation Service for 18 months.