A care home worker who was filmed spraying an aerosol can in the face of a 77-year-old woman with dementia has been convicted.
Susan Draper was caught out after 77-year-old Betty Boylan’s family rigged up a secret camera in her bedroom in the Bupa-run Perry Locks care home in Birmingham, after concerns over bruises they said they’d found on her.
The court heard how the 43-year-old, who has since been dismissed from the care home, used a can of Impulse body spray ‘around a foot away’ from Betty’s face.
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Draper denied ill-treating Betty but was found guilty after a one-day trial heard how she had ‘dehumanised’ the pensioner in September last year.
CCTV footage played out in court showed what prosecutors allege was Betty ‘coughing and gurgling’ after being placed into a chair and sprayed in the face with the aerosol, the Metro reports.
Prosecutor Sean Williams told the court a camera had been placed in Betty’s room to monitor the retired nurse’s treatment following concerns at apparent bruising.
After she was told the spray had gone in her colleague’s mouth, Draper was heard to laugh, saying the smell of spray was ‘better than poo’, the court heard.
Mr Williams said:
The prosecution say it’s fairly clear she is being being sprayed in her face.
The words used by Betty are ‘stop it’ – she is not able to move out of the way. She (Draper) appears to spray the top of her head. She is in very close proximity to her face, eyes and mouth.
As she does this, the victim is heard to gurgle.
Draper admitted she had made a ‘stupid mistake’ and lost her job at the home, where she had worked for 17 years.
Se told the court she thought she was ‘loved and liked’ at Perry Locks and would ‘never have hurt a resident’, adding: “I am not an animal, I wouldn’t do that.”
Vivienne Birch, director of quality for Bupa Care Services, said:
This behaviour is totally unacceptable. We immediately suspended her in September 2016 and shortly afterwards she was formally dismissed. We were shocked and saddened by the footage.
We’re deeply sorry this happened and for the distress it has caused Mrs Boylan’s family. We’re proud of the care our staff provide and do not tolerate behaviour like this at any of our homes.
Draper was granted unconditional bail until sentencing on July 24.