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‘A lion eating a zebra’: Norwich care worker found guilty of bullying and ill-treating elderly dementia residents

PUBLISHED: 10:39 02 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:39 02 December 2017

Shari Childs at Norwich Crown Court. Shari Childs has denied six allegations of ill treatment of elderly residents with dementia at Hillcrest Care Home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Shari Childs at Norwich Crown Court. Shari Childs has denied six allegations of ill treatment of elderly residents with dementia at Hillcrest Care Home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A Norwich care worker has been found guilty of ill-treating and bullying behaviour towards elderly residents suffering with dementia.

Hillcrest Care Home in Norwich. Picture: Olivia Richwald. Hillcrest Care Home in Norwich. Picture: Olivia Richwald.

Shari Childs, 37, who worked at Hillcrest residential home on Thorpe Road, had denied wilfully neglecting or ill-treating a person lacking mental capacity between December 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015.

But she was convicted of seven of the nine counts she faced by a Norwich Crown Court jury. She was cleared of two of the counts following the four-day trial.

Childs, of The Denes, Norwich, was warned by Judge Stephen Holt that she faced custody following her conviction involving seven of the residents from the home.

He told Childs: “The courts take this sort of behaviour very seriously. You must expect a custodial sentence.”

He ordered pre-sentence reports and accepted that she was of previous good character.

He said: “I need to know much more about what was going on in the background.”

He adjourned sentence until January 5 and granted her conditional bail on the grounds she must co-operate with the production of the reports.

Childs was suspended from her role at the home on April 30, 2015, the same day a co-worker Yanic Anacoura put in an official complaint about her conduct after he was “buddied up” to work with Childs.

He said she was a bully, undermining the residents and said: “It was hard to watch. It was not care at all.”

He said that she was aggressive and forceful with residents and described Childs as like a “lion eating a zebra” as she yelled at some of the elderly patients.

He said he saw a shout at a resident with incontinence problems.

Philip Farr, prosecuting, described Childs’ behaviour as “low-grade bullying” and said she did not show the basic respect and dignity she should have afforded to residents.

Childs had denied the allegations and said she had never acted in a rough manner with any resident, or mistreated any elderly person at the home.

She said she suffered from Carpal Tunnel syndrome, which meant she sometimes had difficulty picking things up and said it would have been impossible for her to manhandle any patient in the way alleged.

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