AEA intervenes to ensure justice is served
Three abusive carers finally face court
In March 2015, three care workers, Danielle Snowden, 25, Tracy Priestley, 41, and Sophie Hinchsliff, 24, were covertly filmed taunting and verbally abusing 84-year-old Freda Jobson, a great grandmother-of-six, while working at Keldgate Manor Residential Care Home in Beverley.
The camera, disguised as an alarm clock, was placed in Ms Jobson’s room by her family after they became suspicious of the care she was receiving. All three carers were captured mocking the bedbound Ms Jobson’s cries of pain from pressure sores and calling her names. The footage included evidence of them removing a bandage used to cover a bedsore on her elbow and wrapping it around her head while laughing.
However, despite the filmed evidence and the admission of guilt by the three workers concerned, the police took the view that this was not sufficiently serious to warrant court action, and instead issued a police caution – an action backed by the local adult safeguarding board.
Now, following representations by Action on Elder Abuse to the Police Chief Constable and the Crown Prosecution Service, the workers finally faced justice on Tuesday 27th April when two of them were sentenced by Hull Crown Court to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,500 in compensation, while the third was given a curfew and ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.
Commenting on the case, Gary FitzGerald Chief Executive of Action on Elder Abuse said, “We are obviously extremely pleased that these three abusers have had to face a court over their appalling actions; it gives some sense of justice to Mrs Jobson’s family. But it should never have come to this. Older people should be able to rely upon the adult safeguarding systems and the police, without the need for a charity to intervene. Regardless of age everyone should be entitled to justice.
The charity, which was contacted by the Jobson family via its Elder Abuse Response helpline, intervened to point out that the actions of the three carers contravened section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and challenged the original decision. Following this, the original decision was eventually overturned and the three women were prosecuted.
Continued FitzGerald, “We see too many instances where elder abuse cases either do not reach court or, if they do, the sentence is too lenient and fails to act as a deterrent. We need to stop giving out suspended sentences and community service for these crimes and instead send these criminals to prison.”
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