• The elderly woman had stopped letting visiting family members hug or kiss her
  • Concerned relatives suspected foul play at the facility and installed a hidden camera
  • 48-year-old employee at Blackpool facility was caught raping the woman in her room

A care home worker in the U.K. was sentenced to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to raping a 99-year-old woman who suffers from dementia. The heinous crime was caught on a hidden camera that was placed in the victim's room at the care home in Blackpool by concerned relatives.

Phillip Carey, 48, appeared in Preston Crown Court where he was handed the life sentence, the BBC reported. Carey will serve up to 10 years in prison.

Carey's misconduct came to light after the victim's family noticed a change in her behavior. She stopped letting them hug and kiss her when they paid a visit. The woman often pleaded with her visiting family members to not leave her alone saying "they will hurt me," ITV reported.

"We noticed her behavior had changed. She became withdrawn, wouldn't hug or kiss us and she didn't want us to go when we were leaving and said things that worried us, suggesting she would be punished," a family member told BBC.

The repeated pleas left the elderly woman's family all the more concerned and they decided to install a camera in her room to find out what was really happening at the care facility. "We were concerned maybe someone was being unkind or too rough with her so we decided to install a hidden camera in her room so we could see what was happening," the victim's family said.

"We were shocked and horrified, never imagining we would see her being abused and raped in her own room," the family continued.

"Our elderly relative has gone through a horrific ordeal at the hands of someone we trusted to care for her. This whole episode has been very distressing to all our family. Our lives have changed as we struggle to come to terms with what happened," the victim's family said after Carey's sentencing, according to BBC. "We are truly grateful as a family at the way we have been supported throughout this ordeal by the police and the other people in the team."

The accused pleaded guilty to both the charges--sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder impeding choice, and sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorder by a care worker--that were levied against him, according to BBC.

The family urged others who have their loved ones in care homes to listen to what they are saying during their visits and be watchful of any behavioral changes. "Carey worked in a position of trust which he abused in the most despicable way," Lancashire Constabulary DI Chris Naidu told ITV. "We welcome the sentence which reflects the seriousness of his crime and we commend the victim and her family for their dignity and strength throughout the investigation and court case."

elderly woman
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