Convicted for poor treatment of patient

Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.
Craigavon Courthouse. INPT21-239.

A former worker at a Portadown care home convicted of ill-treating a patient suffering from vascular dementia called him ‘a lazy f—ker’.

Diane White (30), whose adddress was given to the court as The Hamiltons, Armagh, had pleaded not guilty to ill-treating a patient at the Rosemount Care Home on November 24, 2014.

The case was heard as a contest at Craigavon Magistrates Court and after she was convicted sentencing was adjourned so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

Outlining the background at last Friday’s court a public prosecutor said that a care assistant at the home made a complaint against the defendant who was suspended while an internal investigation took place.

He explained that she and the defendant were asked to change the clothes of a man and put on a pad.

The witness claimed that White roughly pulled at the clothes around the neck and shoulder of the patient and called him ‘a lazy f—ker’.

She also said that the defendant commented about the smell and if it was the injured party who soiled himself.

The witness made a report to a staff nurse.

White was interviewed and denied the physical assault but admitted she called the patient lazy and commented on the smell.

The pre-sentence report indicated that she had lost her employment and was unlikely to re-offend.

A barrister representing the defendant said there was unnecessary roughness while hoisting the patient up.

It was an isolated incident over a short period of time.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said this was inappropriate behaviour towards someone in care suffering from vascular dementia.

But, he added, he would take into account the defendant’s previous good character and that she was assessed at a low risk of re-offending.

The judge said immediate custody was not an appropriate sentence but White could put something back into the community.

He imposed 180 hours community service saying this was at the higher end of the scale because the case had been contested.