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Care worker accused of 'low-grade bullying' of elderly dementia patients at Norwich care home

PUBLISHED: 08:21 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:11 28 November 2017

Hillcrest Care Home in Norwich. Picture: Olivia Richwald.

Hillcrest Care Home in Norwich. Picture: Olivia Richwald.

A care worker is accused of ill-treating nine elderly residents suffering from dementia at a Norwich care home.

Shari Childs, 37, who worked at the Hillcrest residential home on Thorpe Road, is alleged to have “roughly handled” some of the residents and not shown them the basic respect and dignity they deserved, Norwich Crown Court heard.

The court heard that allegations about Child’s behaviour were made by her co-workers, who reported concerns to management and police were called in.

Childs, of The Denes, Norwich, has denied wilfully neglecting or ill-treating a person lacking mental capacity between December 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015.

Philip Farr, prosecuting, told the jury the case concerned a number of allegations of ill-treatment by Childs of the nine elderly and infirm residents, who were suffering from various stages of dementia.

He said she was abusive and unpleasant to some of the residents and on occasions handled them roughly, although none of the residents concerned suffered any serious consequences or injury and said her behaviour amounted to “low level” ill-treatment.

He said, at best her behaviour was that she did not show the “basic respect and dignity” she should have afforded to elderly residents and at worst could be described as “low-grade bullying”.

“The bottom line is that this was behaviour which demeaned and degraded the individuals and subjected them, as individuals, to unpleasantness which they should not have to endure and which the law protects them from.”

He said key issues for the jury to decide were whether the conduct alleged happened at all and if it did happen whether it amounted to ill-treatment.

He said Childs was interviewed about the matter and denied any mistreatment of residents. She said she felt she had been picked on by other members of staff to get her removed from her job.

“She flatly denied all the allegations and said she had never been rough.”

Mr Farr said: “The prosecution case is whether in the context of the work this defendant was employed in, that her reaction and behaviour and response was appropriate or not and was lawful or not.”

The trial continues.

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