A carer who slapped a vulnerable 94-year-old dementia sufferer at a care home has been jailed for 18 weeks.
Gareth Williams, 26, lost his temper and lashed out at the pensioner he was looking after in April last year.
Williams had already been sacked from one care home and warned about his behaviour by his current employers when he struck the seriously ill OAP just below the collarbone.
A court heard Williams then yanked the man’s arm causing him to cry out with pain – before acting “as if nothing had happened.”
Williams was sacked following the incident at New Park House, in Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.
On Tuesday he admitted a charge of ill treatment or neglect of a person who lacks capacity at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court and was jailed for 18 weeks.
Judge Paul Glenn said the offence was so serious only an immediate prison sentence could be justified.
He said: “The job of a carer can be very difficult. But this occurred after you had already been spoken to in respect of your care of a female resident.
“It was not proceeded with but it should have been a shot across the bows to you.
“You weren’t new to this line of work.
“It was an unpleasant offence committed against a highly-vulnerable victim incapable of making any complaint.
“He is entitled to be treated properly, with respect and dignity. Plainly you are unfit to be a carer.”
The court was told Williams, from Hanley, in Stoke-on-Trent, was caring for the resident – who had a history of lashing out – with a female colleague when he lost his temper.
Prosecuting Neil Ahuja said: “The defendant used his left hand to slap the man below his left collarbone, which made a hollow noise on his chest.
“The man swung his left arm towards the female care worker.
“The defendant grabbed the man’s left arm, grabbed it back towards the left side of the pensioner’s head, causing him to shout in pain.
“The defendant carried on as if nothing had happened.”
Defending Saleema Mahmood said the care home was not adequately staffed and the pressure on staff was ‘considerable’.
She said: “The incident was not prolonged.
“There is an argument that what he did was to overstep the mark.
“He acknowledges there are two very different sides to him.
“He is caring but also has a tendency to be perceived as aggressive.”
A spokesman for New Park House, which has 92 bedrooms, said after the case: “When the appalling allegations against this young man were brought to the attention of the management, he was immediately dismissed and has never been permitted to return to the home.
“The management informed social services for the police to carry out a thorough investigation.
“We are grateful for the continuing dedicated and vigilant care staff who will continue to ensure service users are treated with dignity, kindness and respect at all times.”