Swaffham care home worker given suspended jail term for ill-treating dementia sufferer

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

A Norfolk care home worker convicted of using 'inappropriate' force on a elderly dementia patient at a care home where she worked has been given a five month suspended jail term and told by a judge that she hoped she would never work with vulnerable people again.

Andrea Arnold, 30, who worked at the Iceni House care home, in Swaffham, was convicted by a Norwich Crown Court jury of one count of ill-treatment of a person lacking capacity . The charge related to an incident when she was seen to tilt a patient, who was behaving in a difficult manner, back onto her bed, so her feet were raised over her chest.

The court heard Arnold was heard to comment afterwards that she was sorry but she was not putting up with the woman's behaviour.

Arnold, of Woodward Avenue, Necton, was cleared of three further similar charges relating to another elderly dementia patient, Arnold had denied all the charges.

Sentencing her to five months jail suspended for 18 months, Judge Katharine Moore told Arnold she had used 'inappropriate force' on the elderly resident.

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'It is never acceptable for a carer to behave as you behaved.'

She said the resident concerned was not able to control her own behaviour and said: 'She deserved your protection and you failed her.'

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However she accepted that Arnold's job was not an easy one but said: 'My hope is that you never work with vulnerable people again.'

Arnold, who is expecting her second child, was also ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work.

William Carter, for Arnold said that the woman had been very difficult indeed and on this one occasion Arnold had lost her patience.

'It was a momentary loss of control and she used inappropriate and unnecessary force.'

However he said, as the prosecution stated, this work was difficult, stressful, upsetting and tiring.

He said Arnold had worked as a carer for 13 years and other colleagues had spoken highly of her.

'She is of low risk of re-offending.'

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