A CARER who left a 90-year-old dementia sufferer in tears after slapping her ‘like a naughty child’ has been spared prison.
Sarah Winney, 42, lashed out when the elderly woman, who ‘can’t do anything’ for herself, did not want to get out of bed at Avenue Care Home in Fareham.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard Winney hauled the woman upright by her wrist before slapping her on the hand loud enough for a colleague to hear 10 yards away.
The victim was left with bruising to her left hand, with bruising on her other arm left unexplained, district judge Anthony Callaway said.
A second carer, also in the victim’s bedroom when it happened, was left to comfort her while the victim said: ‘She hit me, she hit me.’
Carer Winney, who was dismissed from a previous job for ‘tapping’ a care resident on the hand, was handed a three-month jail term suspended for a year.
Addressing Winney in the dock, judge Callaway said: ‘This case, on any view, is a very serious case involving a potential breach of trust by you in regard to a vulnerable lady some 90 years of age who was treated like a naughty child by being slapped.
‘But in the worst sense injuries were caused to her as a consequence of your treatment of her.
‘And in my judgement, not withstanding you’re a 42-year-old lady without previous convictions and only I accept you’re unlikely to trouble the courts against, the court is in the position of having to mark the serious cases.’
Winney was ordered to pay £300 compensation to the victim.
She denied the allegation at a trial but was found guilty under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 of ill-treatment or wilful neglect of the victim who lacked mental capacity.
Giles Fletcher, prosecuting, said the incident happened on June 17 last year after Winney and another carer went into the victim’s room, which she shared with another dementia sufferer.
But when the patient, who ‘can’t do anything’ for herself, refused to get out of bed, Winney lifted her upright by the wrist.
‘(The woman) objected and then there was a slap from the defendant to the complainant using the left hand, loud enough for her colleague to hear the slap, it was more than a tap,’ Mr Fletcher said.
The second carer added: ‘I was shocked, it’s not something you expect to see in a care setting, I feel it was deliberate.’
At trial, Winney said: ‘I’ve never hurt anybody, you can check the records.’
Rhys Evans, for Winney, said: ‘The best mitigation for her is that she’s never been brought before the courts in the past,’ he said.
Winney must complete 250 hours of unpaid work.
The home was approached for comment.