Petite care assistant ‘abused and smacked’ dementia patients in residential home

Care assistant Sarah Pilkington who is accused of abusing dementia patients
Care assistant Sarah Pilkington who is accused of abusing dementia patients
Care assistant Sarah Pilkington who is accused of abusing dementia patients
Care assistant Sarah Pilkington who is accused of abusing dementia patients

A petite care assistant abused, smacked and threatened to “DECK” elderly dementia patients at a residential home, a court heard.

Pretty Sarah Pilkington, 34, wrenched an 88-year-old man’s arm and swore at him when he refused to get dressed, it was said.

She “smacked or swiped” another elderly gentleman’s hands and threatened a 74-year-old woman for spilling tea.

Pilkington’s behaviour was more like someone “picking a fight in a bar” than a care worker looking after vulnerable pensioners, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

The brunette denies four counts of ill-treating people lacking mental capacity at Plymouth’s Hartley Park Care Home.

Prosecutor Llewellyn Sellick said the three victims were all vulnerable dementia patients who were unable to give evidence themselves.

But he told jurors that Pilkington’s “aggressive” behaviour had been witnessed by colleagues who were disgusted by the distress she caused.

The first alleged abuse happened in April or May 2012 when Pilkington was taking an 88-year-old man to the toilet.

Kelly Hogan, another care assistant, told the court that Pilkington pulled him around “aggressively” when he resisted.

Miss Hogan said she felt “upset and disgusted” by what she had witnessed.

She told jurors that on another occasion she saw Pilkington put her face close to 74-year-old woman who had poured tea over a colleague.

Miss Hogan said: “She went into her face and said ‘Nobody does that to my (swearing) mate.'”

The court heard Pilkington clashed again with the same 88-year-old when he became aggressive and refused to get dressed.

Suzanna Theobald, formerly a mental health nurse at the home, said Pilkington “wrenched” at his arm, pulling it up roughly, and swore back at him.

Mrs Theobald said: “I can’t remember the exact words she was using but she was certainly using swear words. It started to feel very threatening.

“It was like she was fighting someone in a bar rather than caring for a very vulnerable adult in a nursing home.

“I was starting to get very upset and very uncomfortable. He tried to hit out at her. She said ‘I will deck you’ or something along those lines.”

The court heard the incident was reported to police who begun an investigation into Pilkington.

On Boxing Day last year she allegedly lashed out at a different 88-year-old man who tried to move a chair.

Care assistant Joanna Smith said she saw Pilkington smack or swipe his hands while calling him an offensive name several times.

Miss Smith told the court: “I was disgusted at what was happening.”

Kelly Scrivener, defending Pilkington of Plymouth, Devon, challenged each witness and said none of the incidents had happened.

She told Miss Hogan and Miss Smith that they would have reported her behaviour immediately had it been as they described in court.

Miss Scrivener said Mrs Theobald made up the complaint about Pilkington because the pair had argued over switching off patient alarms at night.

The trial continues.


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