Woman jailed for assaulting care home resident

07/07/2014

A care worker who assaulted and verbally abused a 90-year-old dementia resident at a Coventry care home has today been sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment at Warwick Crown Court after she had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to assault and ill-treatment.

On 10 February 2014, police received a telephone call from the manager of Chasewood Care Home in Exhall, Coventry reporting that an elderly resident had been assaulted by Suzanne Edmondson, 49, who was a member of their staff.

The police investigated the matter and discovered that on 6 February, Edmondson had been a carer responsible for the victim's wellbeing at the care home. Another member of staff described how she  went into the victim's room and saw Edmondson pinning the victim down on the floor striking him in the face, while she was swearing at him. Having raised the victim to his feet, Edmondson threatened to put him outside in the rain. The other member of staff left the room to raise the alarm, upon her return found the victim on the floor, with an injury to his eye area,  Edmondson claimed that he had fallen.

The victim was taken to hospital where he was found to have suffered a black eye, a cut above his left eye, bruising to both arms and swollen fingers. He later confined to his family that he had been slapped, thrown onto the floor and assaulted by the defendant. 

Edmondson was arrested and charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and an offence involving care home staff ill-treating patient. She pleaded guilty to both offences. 

Kerry Moreton, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said:

"Today's sentencing is important It demonstrates that the CPS places victims at the heart of the criminal justice system, this case  sends an important message that 

"Targeting someone because they are older makes a crime even more serious, so it is important that we bring these people to justice - whether they be strangers, carers, as in this case, or family members.

"Suzanne Edmondson was employed to care for vulnerable elderly adults, however, she abused her position of trust and violently attacked a resident at the care home, the very people she should have been trying to protect.

"This prosecution was made possible by another member of staff who saw the assault being prepared  to make a statement and give evidence. It is important that care homes and other institutions provide an environment where employees are not afraid to speak out when they witness abuse such as this, to ensure offenders can be brought to justice.

"Living free from crime is a basic human right and today I urge any older people suffering criminal mistreatment to be confident that the CPS understands the serious nature of these crimes, and to report them to police."