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Care home worker bullied and swore at dementia patients

By Marion Brennan | Hednesford | Crime | Published:

Christopher Gilbert was given an 18-week suspended prison sentence.

Christopher Gilbert was sentenced at Cannock Magistrates Court

A cruel care home assistant has been found guilty of bullying two residents who had dementia, a court was told.

Christopher Gilbert, 21, targeted the pair at Windsor House Nursing Home in Littleworth Road, Hednesford, after joining the staff in June last year.

Colleagues said he called 72-year-old Jane Barratt ‘a smelly old b***h’ and took away her walking stick to prevent her from moving around.

He also swore at 60-year-old Thomas Stanfield, calling him a ‘fat b******d’.

Gilbert was given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months at Cannock Magistrates Court yesterday and was told he was lucky to escape a prison sentence.

Chair of the bench Mrs C Fitzpatrick said: “This matter is so serious that it warrants a custodial sentence.”

Care assistant Jill Small, who often worked the same shift as Gilbert, said she confronted him about it on several occasions but he swore at her and told her he didn’t care.

Mrs Small said Gilbert was ‘lovely and caring’ when he first started but that he changed, developing issues with Mrs Barratt and Mr Stanfield, who both suffered from dementia.

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She told Cannock magistrates that Mrs Barratt, who was at risk of falling and used a walking stick, began wetting the bed after Gilbert began ill-treating her and, on one occasion, refused to come out of her room when she learned he was working.

One day, in the lounge, Mrs Barratt hit Gilbert on the shoulder for taking away her walking stick, telling him: ‘You deserved that,’ the court heard.

At other times she would see Gilbert swear at Mr Stanfield and slam his bedroom door.

Mrs Small said: “I felt scared for Janet and Tom, I could see it was upsetting them. I felt it could not go on like this.”

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Gilbert resigned after receiving a letter suspending him from work but he fully complied with an investigation.

Gilbert, of Rydal Close, Hednesford, denied two charges of ill-treating people who lacked mental capacity between November 1 last year and January 12 this year

Giving evidence, he claimed Mrs Small and the other staff were lying, suggesting they were jealous as he had a new car and kept horses, and had been offered a senior position despite his comparative lack of experience.

But the magistrates concluded his evidence was ‘not believable’ and found against him in both counts.

Afterwards Mr Stanfield’s sister Mrs Val Lewicz, 64, of Low Hill , Wolverhampton, said: “I’m so relieved, not just for my brother but for other people who might have been abused by Gilbert.

“My brother was frightened by him. The family saw a change in him and knew something was wrong.”

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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