Massage therapist jailed for sex assaults

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The Independent Online

A therapist who sexually assaulted women while giving them massages at a health spa was jailed for six years today.

Batini Mpofu, 32, touched four women - three clients and one colleague - inappropriately during the massages at Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire.



He was convicted of four counts of sexual assault and one count of assault by penetration after a trial at Leicester Crown Court last month.



Sentencing him today at Northampton Crown Court, Judge Charles Wide QC told Mpofu he had abused the trust of his clients.



He said: "It goes without saying when you were just doing your job you were very good at it.



"But what you did repeatedly was to abuse your position.



"You were in a position of trust in relation to these clients at Ragdale Hall.



"Someone in a client's situation is in a very vulnerable situation, alone in a room with a message therapist, and you abused that position and did so repeatedly.



"It is a serious breach of trust and you were in a professional relationship, you should have behaved professionally. They were entitled to trust you to behave professionally and you repeatedly broke that trust."











Mpofu, of Oakthorpe Avenue, Western Park, Leicester, was also given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, banning him from offering his services as a therapist or masseur.

During the trial, the court heard the first victim complained to management at Ragdale Hall in July 2007 after being indecently touched by Mpofu during a full body massage.



She was given a voucher for a free massage, the court heard.



Another female customer and a colleague who worked at Ragdale were also touched inappropriately during massages but did not complain straightaway.



Prosecutor Vanessa Marshall said a fourth victim visited the spa with a friend in September 2008 but when Mpofu touched her sexually during a massage she ran out of the treatment room and complained.



She urged management to call police, and an investigation began.



The court heard that Mpofu, who was supported by a packed public gallery, had no previous convictions.









Today, the court heard that, since his conviction, another woman had come forward, alleging that a similar offence took place in August 2008. Mpofu is expected to be charged on Monday, prosecutor Vanessa Marshall said.

Judge Wide said today that, although he was not criticising Ragdale Hall, the case had raised questions about procedures.



He said: "This case has raised the question of whether the procedures at Ragdale Hall were adequate to provide sufficient safeguards in relation to clients who were being intimately massaged in rooms where the masseur was alone with the client and whether the procedures for dealing with complaints made by clients were adequate.



"I am sure that, if it has not been done already, Ragdale Hall and similar enterprises will look hard at their processes and management and training."