Three care workers have been jailed for physically abusing an elderly woman at a residential care home in Essex.
Abuse at the Old Deanery home, near Braintree, was uncovered following an investigation by the BBC programme Panorama.
The three care workers – Adeshola Adediwura, Lorna Clark and Anita Ray – each admitted assaulting 84-year-old Joan Maddison, who is partially paralysed and has dementia. Each defendant was given a four-month prison sentence by Chelmsford Crown Court.
All three women displayed a massive breach of trust by abusing such a vulnerable patient, and were all described as “a disgrace” during sentencing by Judge Patricia Lynch.
“You deserve to be punished”, said Judge Lynch, “We are dealing with an 84-year-old lady who was vulnerable physically and vulnerable mentally and she could not help the way that she behaved because of her condition.”
“You were supposed to be professionals and there is no excuse for your behaviour.”
Abuse at Old Deanery Exposed by Panorama
The Panorama exposé, Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed, aired in April 2014 and uncovered shocking abuse of a vulnerable old lady.
After receiving a tip off from a whistleblower in 2013, Panorama sent an undercover reporter to work at the care home to film what was going on. One clip shown on the BBC programme showed the defendants slapping Mrs Maddison and grabbing her by the neck whilst helping her to get dressed.
In an earlier interview with the BBC, Mrs Maddison’s daughter Gillian Lee became worried that something wasn't right when her mother appeared to change overnight after she was moved to a different room with different carers. She also said at the time that Old Deanery management dismissed her fears, saying "no-one was prepared to listen" at the home.
Following the verdict on 25 February, Ms Lee thanked both police and the BBC “for what they have done to stop these people from ever working in care again.”
Essex Police welcomed the custodial sentences, with Det Ch Insp Stephen Jennings saying: “I am pleased that the residents and their families have now had some recompense for the sickening actions of these three women.
"Their families placed their elderly relatives in care thinking that they would be well looked after and these three clearly breached their trust and acted despicably."
The Old Deanery care home is now called the New Deanery Care Home and is owned by Sonnet Care Homes.
Slater and Gordon’s specialist team of abuse lawyers are currently representing over 800 survivors of abuse, including vulnerable elderly people who have suffered abuse at their care home.
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