Care home manager ‘flipped’ and injured vulnerable resident

Norwich Crown Court. Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Adrian Judd.

A care home manager “flipped” and injured a vulnerable resident after trying to restrain her.

David Barton, 43, was the manager of the care home on Harvey Lane, Norwich when he became involved in a dispute with one of the residents, who has mental health difficulties.

Norwich Crown Court heard the victim had been banging the doors and refusing to come out of her room.

Isobel Ascherson, prosecuting, said the defendant had started a dispute with the victim who then needed to be restrained.

She said he called for assistance from others before he “restrained the victim, causing bruising to her arm”.

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The dispute continued and Barton, who had been “shouting at her”, removed items from her room, causing more distress.

The court heard Barton had come in on his day off to work on March 1 2018 due to staff shortages during heavy snowfall.

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Barton, of Wilkes Farm Drive, Sprowston, appeared for sentence on Tuesday (May 12) having previously admitted an offence of ill treatment by a care worker.

Sentencing Barton to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, Judge Stephen Holt said the defendant had “flipped” following a “perfect storm” of events, including the weather and staff shortages.

But he described Barton’s behaviour as “disgraceful” adding that although the victim was not able to provide a statement about the offence it would have been “extremely distressing”.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating, said Barton had pleaded guilty to one brief incident in the context of someone who had a long career in the care industry.

He accepted the victim was vulnerable and that it was “serious”, as he was the manager of a care home, but insisted it could be treated as a “serious blip” in what otherwise was a very solid record.

He said Barton bitterly regretted the incident as highlighted by his plea.

Mr Oliver said Barton was devastated by what had happened and had not worked in the care industry since.

Barton was ordered to adhere to a curfew for the next four months, meaning he must stay at home between 9.30pm and 7am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and between 7pm and 6am on the other days.

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