Bedfordshire care worker jailed for life after abuse spanning a decade

A sexual predator who abused residents for over a decade whilst working in a Bedfordshire care facility has been jailed for life.

William James, formerly known as Stephen Umney, was a support worker in a care facility where it was discovered he sexually abused three residents between 2010 and 2020.
Willam James was found guilty of sexually abusing three people for more than a decade. Credit: Bedfordshire Police

A care worker who sexually abused vulnerable people for more than a decade has been jailed for life.

William James, 40, formerly known as Stephen Umney, has been described by police as a 'sexual predator' after it was discovered he abused three people in Bedfordshire.

During the investigation, it was revealed that James had been recording himself abusing three people he was supposed to be caring for.

In May at Luton Crown Court he was found guilty of four counts of sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder, nine counts of causing a person with a mental disorder to engage in sexual activity, three counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a person with a mental disorder, and one count of voyeurism.

James was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of eight years and four months.

Police uncovered the historical offences in November 2021 when James’ computers were examined as part of an investigation into indecent images of children led by Northamptonshire Police.

Following this initial investigation Bedfordshire Police then looked into the abuse claims.Detective Constable Claire Long, from Bedfordshire Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People unit, said: “This was a horrific case where James exploited three people for his own sexual gratification.

“These offences will have a significant impact on the victims and their families, and they will carry this trauma with them. Our specialist officers and partnership services will continue to work with and support the victims and their families.

“This case was a lengthy and complex investigation, and is just one of many which demonstrates our commitment to tackling offenders and keeping vulnerable people safe."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know