Convicted rapist who abused vulnerable girls sacked by Sheffield NHS trust

A convicted rapist who abused his position as a mental health worker has been formally sacked by the NHS, The Star can reveal.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 12:46 pm
Owen Smith arrives at Sheffield Crown Court during his earlier trial. Picture: Andrew Roe

Owen Smith, aged 50, of Hawley Street, Sheffield city centre, was found guilty of rape, sexual assault and trafficking in relation to three victims last week.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Smith plied his victims with drink and drugs, used an NHS company car to approach and talk to one of his victims and used his NHS issued phone to contact them.

A Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson did confirm that Smith had his employment terminated in his absence when news broke of the guilty verdict.

She said: “I can confirm that Mr Smith was summarily dismissed on Tuesday. A letter has been sent out today informing him about the dismissal.”

Kevan Taylor, the trust’s chief executive, told The Star South Yorkshire Police were in contact with them around the time of Smith’s initial arrest.

He added none of the victims came into contact through Smith’s role as a support worker.

Mr Taylor, said: “The police notified us of their concerns in 2014 and we have worked closely and collaboratively with them to ensure all appropriate action has been taken. We will shortly be concluding our disciplinary proceedings.

“We are appalled by these crimes. My thoughts, and those of all my staff, are with the victims and we admire their courage in coming forward and their fortitude throughout the trial.

“I would like to assure the public that safeguarding our service users is our highest priority. It is clear that Owen Smith used his position as a mental health worker to engender trust in his vulnerable victims, however, the victims were not people Owen Smith came into contact with through his role as a support worker in one of our teams.”