A CARE worker from Dunfermline has been jailed after subjecting a profoundly disabled man to repeated rape ordeals at a residential home.

Steven Watson, 64, of Skye Road, preyed on the victim, who requires 24-hour round the clock care, while employed as a relief support worker with a disability charity.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that he was employed in the role at care homes in Fife after spending his earlier years working overseas for charities such as Oxfam and Save the Children.

He and his wife own a house in the Philippines but visit it independently of each other.

Watson sexually assaulted his 44-year-old victim on three occasions at the residential home.

Advocate depute Jane Farquharson QC told the court: "He had been in this role as a support worker for 15 to 20 years.

"It is employment that saw the accused caring for some of the most vulnerable members of society, many of whom including the complainer, have limited communication and mobility skills," she said.

"The role of a support worker is to attempt to make a service user's life as normal as possible."

She said the wheelchair-bound victim has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, dysphagia – involving problems swallowing – a speech impediment and severe learning difficulties.

The advocate depute said: "He cannot do anything for himself and requires assistance in all aspects of his daily living.

"He can express himself, using yes and no answers, head movements and through the use of visual communication aids, but only if asked a simple and closed question."

On January 6 this year Watson had taken the man to a restaurant in Dunfermline during his shift before returning to the residential home.

When they returned the man indicated he wanted to go to bed.

A woman support worker offered to help Watson with the task, which involved using an overhead hoist, but he declined the offer.

He then wheeled the man into his bedroom and closed the door.

The woman later returned because she wanted to speak to Watson and knocked on the bedroom door and immediately walked in.

Watson had his back to the door and was standing facing the man's bed. When he became aware that someone else was in the room he rolled the man away from him. She heard Watson doing up his belt.

The woman suspected that he was not providing care to the resident, but did not confront him at the time.

She spoke to Watson about covering a shift for her, but he did not turn round or make eye contact.

Miss Farquharson said: "She formed the impression he was flustered."

She told another worker of her concerns and was advised to report to their supervisor.

The woman wanted to check on the resident's welfare and tried to go to his room to speak to him alone, but each time Watson would appear and she was unable to talk to him in private.

She later spoke to a team leader and told her she felt she had "interrupted something". The police were called.

Another worker later took the man out on a car trip to see relatives, but noticed a change in his behaviour and asked if anything was wrong.

He asked if something had happened to him and received a positive indication and the man confirmed it was Watson who was responsible.

Watson was interviewed by police and admitted the incident on January 6, but initially claimed that the victim was a willing participant.

Miss Farquharson said: "He later however agreed that the complainer did not have the capacity to consent to any sexual act."

Watson also admitted two further sex acts on the man before Christmas.

In court the first offender admitted assaulting and raping the man, who because of a mental disorder was incapably of giving consent, on three occasions between December 1 last year and January 6 at a residential unit in Fife.

Defence solicitor advocate Gordon Martin said a background report would be required on Watson ahead of sentencing, but added: "He appreciates the only disposal the court will impose here is one of custody."

The judge, Lord Beckett, remanded Watson in prison and placed him on the sex offenders' register.

Sentence was deferred until next month.