A DISGRACED Wigan nursing home assistant has avoided jail after admitting she ill-treated six elderly dementia patients.
Lynne Parkinson ended up in court after two colleagues at Ashton’s Shawcross Residential Home reported her to bosses.
Judge Nigel Gilmour, QC said: “The elderly in their last years should be treated with patience and compassion.
“It is clear from the junior staff, with whom you worked, that you became uncaring on occasions and you became angry, demonstrated by swearing at these elderly, vulnerable people.”
Imposing an eight-month jail sentence suspended for two years Judge Gilmour said that he took into account that the 55-year-old has no previous convictions and it was not in the public interest to send her straight to jail.
Parkinson, of Belle Green Lane, Ince, was also ordered to carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work.
She pleaded guilty to six offences of ill treatment between September 1, 2009 and June 2 last year. Five other similar charges involving the same patients were ordered to lie on the file. Three of the patients, who ranged in age from 80 to 95 have since died from unrelated causes.
Parkinson was first suspended then dismissed from Shawcross after 18 months, when two carers Alison Tunstall and Tracy Gonzalez spoke to the manager about the ill-treatment of residents they had witnessed.
Tom Fitzpatrick, prosecuting, told the court the allegations involved her striking an 82-year-old man behind his knees when he had trouble bending them to sit on the toilet. His legs gave way and he made a noise indicated either pain or being startled.
On another occasion she came up behind an 87-year-old blind woman with mobility problems as she was being slowly walked along.
He said: “She took hold of her arm and began to walk at a pace she could not manage. Her legs went from beneath her and was dragged by the defendant along the corridor.”
On two separate occasions she roughly undressed a 95-year-old woman and a confused 89-year-old woman and when they reacted adversely she knocked their hands away and “don’t you dare ******* hit me” and continued the rough handling.
On May 15, two patients refused to take their medication. She slapped the 85-year-old woman on the back and held her hand over the mouth of the 80-year-old man so he could not spit his tablets out.
He threw a beaker of juice over her and she reacted by shouting and swearing at him and hitting out to his arms and shoulders.
Tom Watson, defending, said, “She has been a dedicated carer but she has thrown it all away. She allowed the pressures of the job to get to her and behaved in a way she would not have ordinarily behaved,.
“The prospects for work in the future are limited and certainly cannot work in the care industry again. Before you is a woman who has been shattered by this experience and apologies to the victims and their families.”
Judge Gilmour commended the two whistleblowers for their courage. “They were in junior positions and understandably felt apprehensive at reporting what they saw to their employer but are to be congratulated by everyone including myself for have the courage finally to report what they saw.”
A statement previously issued by the Shawcross Home read: “The home manager and staff and our regional leadership team have been distressed by this case, and feel badly let down that a colleague could be neglectful of the needs of people entrusted into their care.
“We are grateful to the caring staff who raised their concerns with the manager, as all staff are encouraged to do.
“The manager promptly suspended Lynne Parkinson, pending inquiries, and notified the residents’ families, the local authority safeguarding team and the police.”