Nurse left dementia sufferer on floor

Sharon Richmond
Sharon Richmond

A SENIOR nurse left an elderly dementia sufferer lying half naked on the floor after being bitten by her, a court has heard.

Sharon Richmond’s “aberration” led to her ending up in the dock admitting wilfully neglecting a person lacking capacity and has already been punished by losing her career.

The 42-year-old was sacked by her Wigan care home bosses and has been struck off the nursing register. Sentencing her to three months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months Judge Robert Trevor-Jones told her: “It is a serious matter given the vulnerability of the victim and the abuse of trust.”

He added: “It seems to have been an aberration on your part.” Jonathan Rogers, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that Richmond worked at the Dean Wood Manor care home in Orrell, which cares for people with advanced dementia. On July 24 last year she was the senior nurse in charge of the night shift and about 11.30pm it was decided that the 72-year-old woman should be put to bed. Assisted by care staff the woman, who suffered a fractured pelvis earlier in the month, was taken to her room but once there she started to go the floor and when staff supported her she began screaming and shouting.

They began undressing her and attending to her personal care but then Richmond was heard saying that she had bitten her on the breast and ordered the staff out of the room.

“They described her as ‘mad and aggressive’. She left her lying on the floor with no clothing on her lower body,” said Mr Rogers.

Shortly afterwards she and the carers went back in and Richmond lifted her onto the bed and threw covers over her. These were rearranged by one of the carers and they then all left the room. The incident was reported to management and the police were notified.

Mr Rogers said that Richmond has no previous convictions and there had been no previous concern about her conduct at the home.

Damian Nolan, defending, said that Richmond, of Lorne Street, Fairfield, Liverpool, had worked hard in a very demanding sector of the nursing industry. Her references included one from the daughter of another patient with advanced dementia praising her.

He said that the victim had only been on the floor for about a minute and Richmond had acted as she did in response to being bitten. “It was a momentary lapse.”

He said the mother-of-two has “paid a heavy price already. The career to which she dedicated herself for quite a time has ended and she has been removed from the nursing register. It is a very sad end to what has been an unblemished career.

“She is going to have to start all over again in respect of employment prospects. She has already arranged courses looking for different fields of employment,” he added.