Vic carer abused disabled men: court

A Melbourne man who sexually abused eight disabled men while he was their carer handed himself in to police because he wanted a clear conscience, a court has heard.


Craig Gilbert Handasyde, 47, assaulted his victims on dates between 1997 and 2011, while he was working as their carer in various residential facilities run by the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Prosecutor Raymond Gibson said Handasyde, who no longer works for the department, handed himself in to police last year and admitted sexually assaulting the men over a period of about 13 years.

Handasyde told police his Christian faith motivated him to confess, and he was “terribly sorry”.

“He said he breached the duty of care and abused his position,” Mr Gibson told the Victorian County Court on Monday.

Handasyde has pleaded guilty to 11 charges of committing an indecent act against a person with a cognitive impairment, while he was in the role of disability development services officer.

He exposed himself to some of his victims, entering their bedrooms or the lounge room naked.

Handasyde climbed into bed with others while naked, cuddled one man in a swimming pool change room and masturbated others while they did the same to him.

His victims, who all have intellectual disabilities, were aged between 25 and 51.

Some of them were barely able to communicate.

The father of one man said his son wouldn’t have realised what was going on during the “disgraceful episode” and he feared his son may engage in copy-cat behaviour.

“It is unlikely he would have known he was being victimised,” the man told the court.

A mother, whose son is partially deaf and blind, said Handasyde had turned her boy into a disturbed young man.

“I trusted you with my son, who I love so much,” she said.

“You betrayed him.”

Handasyde’s plea hearing continues.