Carer 'regrets' having sex with client

·3-min read

A disability support carer tasked with helping a vulnerable client engage with the outside world had sex with her but says he didn't know his actions were criminal.

Adam Ledgerwood has also testified that at the time he had not regarded his conduct as being immoral.

The 42-year-old gave evidence on Tuesday at his sentence hearing in the NSW District Court.

He has admitted four counts of carer having sexual intercourse with a client, who has a cognitive impairment, in 2019 on the NSW central coast.

Ledgerwood originally helped her once a week, but this increased to three days a week for four-hour shifts after her condition deteriorated and she needed help with day-to-day activities and to engage with the outside world.

The then-married carer testified that at the time he hadn't known his sexual contact was criminal, nor had he regarded it as immoral.

His barrister Michal Mantaj referred him to his text telling the woman he hoped the situation would not be "leaked to the wrong people" and asked why he was concerned if he didn't think his conduct was criminal.

Ledgerwood said he had been referring to the physical act of intercourse when the woman was damaged and left bleeding by his penis ring and had to go to hospital.

He texted her asking if she had a hot water bottle, saying "I am not going to touch you again (like that)" and "no more hanky panky".

Ledgerwood said he was saying he wanted to cease the sexual element of their relationship, which he now realises was "highly morally wrong".

The prosecutor suggested rather than meaning no more sex, Ledgerwood was saying no more hanky panky involving injury to her.

"You intended to maintain a 'f*** buddy' relationship with her that did not involve injuring her by accident?" she suggested.

"No," he replied.

He had been "vaguely" aware that he had crossed boundaries in a way that was unacceptable in society, but had never received any formal training on the issue.

Ledgerwood said he was highly remorseful and can't apologise enough to the woman and her friends for what he had done.

He agreed before he spoke to police he had deleted some texts, but said this was because his wife had access to them.

According to the agreed facts, Ledgerwood instigated a sexual relationship after touching her vagina shortly after giving her a massage.

She later texted saying "what are you doing, it is going to ruin everything" to which he responded by saying she could carry on being friends or be a "f*** buddy".

He agreed he had found it difficult to resist her sexually, but now realised it was "an idiotic choice " and "I should have known better"

When she texted saying she no longer needed his carer services, he apologised and said "I am sorry that I was unable to say no".

In his police interview, he acknowledged that she had become confused, anxious and angry after her condition deteriorated and his hours increased.

When he told police he had not had sex with her, Ledgerwood said at the time "I had no understanding of any legal implication".

Judge Justin Smith will sentence him on November 3.

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