A care home assistant slapped a dementia sufferer around the head and called her a ‘vulture’, a court heard.
Senior carer Ann Culley, and care assistant Carol Grant, both aged 51, are on trial accused of neglecting and abusing patients at the former Lime Trees Nursing Home in Devon Road, Pitsmoor.
Prosecution witness Deborah Warwick, a former carer at the home, yesterday told Sheffield Crown Court Grant struck resident Ellen Wagland in the dining room as she tried to pick up food from another person’s plate.
Miss Warwick said: “Mrs Wagland took a sandwich off another resident’s plate and Carol took it off her, slapped her around the head and called her a vulture.
“It went with a crack.”
Miss Warwick also said that Culley and Grant would ‘pick on’ specific residents.
She told the court that a mug belonging to Thomas Freeman would be ‘hidden’ by the pair to wind him up. They would also ‘have a go and shout’ at another elderly woman, she added.
When asked why she didn’t report the abuse, Miss Warwick said: “I didn’t think that I would be believed.”
Zaiban Alam, representing Grant, also questioned why Miss Warwick had not reported the incident when she was aware of whistleblowing policies and had reported previous concerns to a manager.
Those concerns were about Grant not ‘pulling her weight’ and one resident touching another in a sexual way.
Miss Warwick said: “I was afraid. Obviously grassing somebody up is going to cause friction.”
Later she added that she ‘didn’t know how to go about it’ and as the only witness, she didn’t think she would be believed.
Miss Alam also suggested that Grant had only been acting to stop Ellen Wagland from eating hard food, as she was on a soft diet, and that the resident had hit the care assistant on the arm instead of her striking out - making the ‘slapping’ sound that was heard.
Miss Warwick said: “That’s wrong. She did.”
The trial continues.