Monday, December 6, 2010

Pinoy nurse in UK jailed for rape, sexual assault

A Filipino nurse in the United Kingdom who was previously convicted for having sex with a minor was again sentenced to jail for a total of nine years for allegedly raping a female patient and sexually assaulting another in Oxford, according to reports in the British press. 
Oliver Balicao, 37 and a British citizen, was convicted at the Reading Crown Court last November for the rape of a 17-year-old patient in 2004 and sexual assault of a 22-year-old student in 2002. 

Balicao, a resident of Bicester in Oxfordshire, used to work at the John Radcliffe Hospital prior to his two latest convictions. He was also convicted in 2008 to 16 months in jail for having consensual sex with a 16-year-old patient of the same hospital in March 2007. 

In 2007, he was accused of raping the teenage patient who took a paracetamol overdose after being bullied at school. She claimed Balicao took advantage of her at the hospital’s lavatory for the disabled where he led her on the pretext of taking her urine sample.

Balicao, however, maintained the girl initiated the sexual act and that it was consensual. The jury cleared him of the charge, but the judge sentenced him to 16 months in jail.

The two other victims, upon hearing about Balicao’s conviction, likewise decided to surface and file charges against him. 


According to a BBC report, the younger of the two victims said Balicao raped her in a side room at the hospital’s accident and emergency department in October 2004.

The BBC report said the victim’s boyfriend and mother initially didn’t believe her as she was then suffering hallucinations following a drug overdose. 

The victim then went to the police after seeing Balicao’s photograph in the news for the March 2007 case. 

A separate report by the Oxford Mail, meanwhile, said Balicao, a father of two, was likewise sentenced for indecent assault on a student who was being treated at the John Radcliffe Hospital for blood clots in her lungs.

In the second incident, Balicao allegedly touched the woman’s arm and forced a kiss on her mouth in December 2002. 

The victim also decided to come forward and report to the police after hearing news of Balicao’s 2008 conviction.

Balicao was sentenced to nine years for rape and 18 months for indecent assault.

The Oxford Mail quoted Judge Stephen John as saying that Balicao had shown no remorse as he maintained innocence on the charges. 

“The rape of the 17-year-old girl was premeditated. You took her to another room and used a condom. The 22-year-old woman was a (foreign) PhD student in the UK for four weeks and another patient in your care. Again you abused your position of trust," John was quoted as saying in the report. 

“It appears your past offending caught up with you when both saw news reports of your conviction in 2007," the judge added, 

Brian Stalk, Balicao’s counsel, said his client was “crushed" by the jury’s guilty majority verdict a month ago. 

“If there was ever a lesson to be learned, he has learned it and he will never make the same mistake again," Stalk said in the same report. 

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Elaine Strachan-Hall, chief nurse of the Oxfor Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, said Balicao will no longer be able to work as a nurse as his name has been removed from the register of nurses by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. 

Balicao was likewise banned from working with children under 16 years old and was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for his 2007 conviction. 

“It is never acceptable for a nurse in a position of trust to abuse that trust and take advantage of a person's vulnerability. We are extremely sorry that this happened and that the patients, who were the victims of these crimes, did not feel able to report the incidents at the time," said Strachan-Hall after the hearing, according to BBC. 

The John Radcliffe Hospital is the largest tertiary teaching hospital in England. It opened in 1972 and is the main teaching hospital for Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University.

In recent years, the United Kingdom has been among the top destination of overseas Filipino nurses. 

Data from the UK Border Agency, cited by local recruitment agencies, show that an annual average of 7,000 nurses flew to the UK under a program that allows them to study and work at the same time. - KBK, GMANews.TV

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