A nurse sexually assaulted an elderly woman who could not move or speak during an eye operation, a jury has been told.
Stephen Board, 65, of Linden Road, Bognor Regis, worked at Worthing and St Richard’s hospitals as a nurse for many years.
Prosecutor Hugh Forgan said: “Whilst working as a nurse Mr Board sexually assaulted three of his patients.
“Two were coming round from general anaesthetic, the third was having eye surgery.”
Opening the case, Mr Forgan told jurors of the most recent allegations of how Board attacked a deaf woman when she was being operated on at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester.
“She was elderly and had been told not to move or talk, other than to squeeze Mr Board’s hand to communicate.
“Under the covers, he assaulted her.”
The court also heard how Board groped a woman as she recovered from surgery at Worthing Hospital, groggy from general anaesthetic.
Mr Forgan told the jury she had been admitted to hospital with severe pain and Board had been one of the nurses giving her care.
He said before she went in for surgery Board told her: “Don’t worry, I’ll look after you.”
When she awoke afterwards, Board asked her what she remembered.
She described her memories as ‘a puzzle’, Mr Forgan said.
He added: “Six days later she was to set out these memories to the police.”
The final victim protested as Board assaulted her after surgery at Worthing, but he only stopped when other staff started coming into the room, the prosecution told the court.
At a previous hearing Board was released on bail on the condition he does not undertake any hospital theatre roles.
The trial continues.