Care home worker ill-treated elderly resident and ‘enjoyed the challenge’ of him being distressed
A care home worker “lost her temper” when looking after an elderly bed-bound man and put her hand in his mouth before grabbing his arm.
The victim – who is in his 80s – was left injured and upset by the experience.
Swansea Crown Court heard carer Kelly Lovell, who no longer works for the care home, has a string of previous convictions including for handling stolen goods, supplying heroin, shoplifting, and benefit fraud.
Tom Scapens, prosecuting, said the incident took place at the Hengoed Park residential care home in the Winchwen area of Swansea.
He said on January 10 last year Lovell was washing a bed-bound resident of the home, something the 86-year-old resident was protesting against. He said the defendant continued to wash the man despite his protestations, and at one point put her hand into his mouth and made comments to him. She then forcefully grabbed his outstretched arm, damaging the skin.
The court heard the incident was witnessed by another member of staff who said she thought 44-year-old Lovell “was enjoying the challenge of him being distressed”. The member of staff reported what she had seen to management.
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Mr Scapens said that later that day as Lovell was outside the care home having a cigarette the care home manager spoke to her, and told her leave the premises immediately. He said the defendant said nothing in return but simply collected her possessions and left.
The court heard the man Lowell mistreated now lacks the capacity to give a victim impact statement. However, in his original police statement from 2020 he said the way Lovell twisted his arm and rubbed his skin was “vicious”. He said he been bed-bound for four years, something which made him feel “less like a man”, and he doesn’t want the defendant to hurt anyone else.
Lovell, of Romney Avenue, Sandfields, Port Talbot, had previously pleaded guilty to ill-treatment by a carer when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. The court heard she has nine previous convictions for 14 offences including for thefts from shops, handling stolen goods, possession of heroin, supplying heroin, two counts of benefit fraud, and being a driver of a vehicle and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.
Judge Niclas Parry said those who care for the elderly, often in extremely difficult circumstances, are deserving of the public’s admiration – but with that comes a great deal of responsibility.
He said he accepted Lovell had not intended to cause injury to the care home resident, and was remorseful for what she had done. The judge told the defendant she had been “impatient” and “lost your temper”, and had used violence towards the care home resident.
Judge Parry said it was right that the offending should be marked by a custodial sentence but having read a pre-sentence report on the defendant he was able to follow its recommendations and not impose immediate custody.
Giving the defendant a 10 per cent discount for her guilty plea – a plea entered on the day she was due to stand trial – the judge sentenced her to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months, and he ordered her to complete a rehabilitation course and 150 hours of unpaid work.