Carer jailed after being caught on camera hitting and abusing a vulnerable 89-year-old woman


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The Independent Online

A care assistant was jailed today after she was caught on a hidden camera hitting and abusing a vulnerable 89-year-old woman in her care.

The camera, left by Ivy Robinson’s family after she tearfully begged them not to leave her alone with staff, captured five days of abuse at the Oakfoss House Residential Care Home in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

Emma Bryan, 29, dragged Mrs Robinson across her bedroom floor, verbally abused her and failed to give her proper doses of medicine. Bryan’s colleague Katherine Wallis, 45, also threatened her with violence.

Bryan was today jailed for four months and Wallis was given a 12-month community order for what Judge Guy Kearl QC said was “unforgivable and unacceptable neglect and ill-treatment".

Mrs Robinson, who suffered from dementia, had lived at the home for six years but daughter Angela Wood became suspicious after she saw bruises on her hands. Her husband left a camera hidden inside an alarm clock in the room to try to find out what was going on.

Bryan was videoed in November last year swearing at Mrs Robinson, calling her a "horrible old lady" and a "nasty old cow" and captured striking the elderly woman. A care assistant trainer who viewed the footage described it as the worst case of ill-treatment and neglect she had ever seen.

Bryan was convicted of four counts of wrongly administering medicine. Both women were also convicted of ill-treatment by moving a patient in an unapproved manner.

Mrs Wood and her husband Simon today said that they were sickened by what they had seen and felt “as though we have let mum down.”

"The final trigger was when mum became agitated and frightened when it came time for us to leave on an evening,” they said in a statement. “She would cry and ask us not to leave. No one knows how long this abuse and neglect had been going on for.”

A further three members of staff at Oakfoss were dismissed this year for similar acts, they said in a statement.

“Despite working with the home over the last months and giving them every opportunity to improve we have decided it is in mum's best interests to move her out of Oakfoss House in an effort to give mum the care that she deserves."