A care home worker who bit and kicked a dementia patient has escaped a prison sentence
Sandra Lund, 54, kicked the victim once and bit her hand to get her to release her painful grip, a court heard.
The assault, which was witnessed by another carer, caused the female victim to scream and left her with a bleeding finger.
Lund, who denied assault by beating, had previously been well thought of by colleagues.
She said the woman suffered from advanced dementia and was often physically and verbally violent to staff.
Lund told Harrogate magistrates in North Yorkshire she accidentally injured the woman while trying to break free during the incident at Limestone View Extra Care home, in Settle.
She said she had stumbled against her and caught her hand with a nail, causing a slight cut on June 4 last year.
But fellow carer Elena Snepsta said Lund told the woman to “stop acting like a child” before kicking her leg and biting her hand.
GETTY – STOCK IMAGE
The assault caused the female victim to scream and left her with a bleeding finger
She said the woman “screamed a bit” and they then continued to help her to the bathroom.
She had blood on her finger and she was trying to lick it off
Ms Snepsta told the court: “She had blood on her finger and she was trying to lick it off.”
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
She added Lund had then cleaned the wound with a cloth. Ms Snepsta said she was upset by what had happened but did not want to say anything. After thinking about it overnight she told a colleague, then reported it to a senior manager.
Karina Lewis, housing and care manager for the Housing 21 group, said the woman, who was no longer at the home, suffered from advanced dementia and had high care needs.
Early signs of Dementia Tue, December 20, 2016
Dementia affects the ability to remember, think and reason. Here are the early signs to look out for in yourself and loved ones.
Getty Images 1 of 12
Early signs of dementia
She had frequently been violent to members of staff and Mrs Lewis had made requests for her to be moved to another facility.
She said when she was told of the incident three days later the injury looked like a “scratch”.
There was no mention of it in the woman’s notes or on a “body map” used to record injuries.
Lund, of Long Preston, North Yorkshire, had reported the incident verbally to a line manager, her daughter, shortly afterwards.
Mrs Lewis told the court that at the time there was not a lot of dementia training and “every member of staff was struggling”.
Chris McGrogan, defending, said Lund was “moving on with her life” but added: “There are issues still to be addressed.
North Yorkshire County Council is conducting a safeguarding investigation into the case
This is a very upsetting and traumatic matter for all involved.”
Chairwoman of the bench Vanda McKenzie this week gave Lund to a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation days and 150 hours of unpaid work.
She will pay £860 court costs.
She told Lund: “This was a vulnerable victim who was in your care and you used your teeth.”
North Yorkshire County Council is conducting a safeguarding investigation into the case.
A spokesman said: “The council expects the very highest standards of care of older and vulnerable people.”