Sheffield NHS mental health worker '˜raped vulnerable girls' - court

A Sheffield mental health worker sexually abused vulnerable girls as young as 13 after plying them with drink and drugs, a court heard.

Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 4:32 pm

Owen Smith, who works for the local NHS, is said to have told one of his alleged teenage victims he was ‘untouchable’.

The 50-year-old denies nine offences against three complainants and has gone on trial at Sheffield Crown Court.

One of the allegations against him is that he had sex with one of the girls in front of a disabled boy he was looking after.

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Richard Woolfall, prosecuting, said: “It is the Crown’s case this defendant has sexually abused three different girls.

“He has given them drink, drugs and then abused them either at his flat or at other properties which he has access to.

“Each of these three women or girls was vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

“He worked for the NHS in a trusted position and was a mental health worker.”

He said the first complainant, who is now in her 30s, says she was raped by Smith on a number of occasions in the mid-1990s when she was 13 years old – the first time after a party at his flat where she was given alcohol and cannabis.

The charges against Smith in relation to the two other complainants are said to have occurred in 2014.

Mr Woolfall said the second alleged victim had met Smith through a mutual friend after being kicked out by her mother.

He said the girl would be provided with legal highs by Smith, who would wait until she was ‘off her face’ before having sex with her.

Mr Woolfall said: “He would tell her he was untouchable and could get away with everything.”

The third complainant was 16 years old and found by police in a bed at Smith’s flat after being reported missing by her mother.

Mr Woolfall said Smith had given the girl vodka, locked her in his bedroom and then sexually assaulted her despite her trying to stop him.

He said that when police arrived Smith started shouting at the girl ‘Nothing’s happened, tell them nothing’s happened’.

Smith, of Hawley Street, Sheffield city centre, denies five counts of rape, two counts of trafficking and two charges of sexual assault.

The trial continues.