Carer hit 87-year-old dementia patient in face with a soiled mop

Matthew Blanks admitted a host of offences in a Norfolk care home PHOTO: Getty Images

Matthew Blanks admitted a host of offences in a Norfolk care home PHOTO: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An ex-care worker hit an 87-year-old man with dementia in the face with a mop used to clean his floor after he soiled himself, a court heard.

Matthew Blanks, 24, of Castle Acre Road, Great Dunham, appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday, July 4, after admitting counts of being a carer ill-treating a person without mental capacity and one count of sexual assault.

The offences took place when Mr Blanks was working at a care home in the county, then aged 22.

At a previous hearing, he admitted offences which included pulling a 93-year-old female resident across the bed by her neck, verbally abusing a 60-year-old woman, causing distress to a 92-year-old resident by hitting a stick in her room, and pushing an 81-year-old man in his wheelchair at speed and causing him distress.

He also caused bruising to the 87-year-old man on a separate occasion after forcing his head down to his knees, smacking him and undressing him with enough force that his pyjama top was torn.

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Sentencing, Judge Maureen Bacon said the residents' families felt guilt that they "should not have had to feel" after entrusting their relatives into the care of the home, which closed in November 2017 following an inadequate Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating two months earlier.

But she added: "I accept you were not best equipped for that employment by dint of your youth, that you were someone who had a diagnosis of ADHD, you were poorly trained and the fact there were poor examples of care in that home."

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She said at the time of the offences, Blanks was not responding well to medication for his condition, which his sister testified to at trial.

But Judge Bacon added: "Demented patients are some of the most vulnerable members of society and are entitled to the support and care necessary for them to lives comfortably."

William Carter, mitigating, said Blanks was now working as a delivery driver and demonstrating a good work ethic, and was keen to attend a tailored sexual offences program which he felt would help him relate to others.

He added: "Members of staff said he could be very good indeed [with residents]."

Blanks was given a seven-month sentence suspended for 24 months, in addition to 30 compulsory rehabilitation days, a compulsory 35-day sexual offences program and a compulsory 100 days unpaid work.

He was barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.

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