15:27 29 November 2013
Based on the evidence presented to Preston Crown Court, the female staff members of Hillcroft nursing home in Slyne-with-Hest near Lancaster bullied, mocked, and assaulted residents. Meanwhile, a fourth male staff has pleaded guilty to the same offence and team leader Carol Moore was proven to have abused six residents. The defendants told other staff that they have done so for entertainment.
Katie Cairns, 27, of Riverview Court, Westgate, Morecambe, was found guilty of abusing four residents by throwing bean bags at them and stamping on the foot of one. Meanwhile, Gemma Pearson, 28, tipped a resident out of a wheelchair. Darren Smith, 34, was seen in bed with a distressed resident.
Crown Prosecution Service said that the staff members “showed a total disregard for their wellbeing, displaying contemptible behaviour that should never be tolerated.” He added that their actions “caused considerable distress to the victims and it has been very distressing for their families to hear about.”
Relatives of the victims have reacted to the news saying: "To work in a challenging behaviour unit must be incredibly difficult, requiring patience and understanding, not to mention training and professionalism, but the difficulty of the job does not excuse mistreatment on any level."
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