Watch: Disturbing footage shows carers dragging dementia sufferer across room
Disturbing footage shows care home staff dragging a distressed dementia sufferer across her room and leaving her in a urine-stained bed.
Michael Lanera captured the video on a hidden camera he fitted in his 85-year-old mother's room after he suspected she was being mistreated.
The footage shows nurse Mamello Herring and care worker Maria Jackson dragging Angelina Lanera from the toilet back to her bed.
Mrs Lanera can be heard screaming and crying in distress, but the workers continue to manhandle her using a banned “drag lift” technique.
The technique involves someone putting a hand or arm under the person’s armpit and can result in injuries to those involved.
They then left her in the urine-stained bed and clothes, Bradford Crown Court heard on Friday.
Prosecutor Wayne Jackson said that on 1 December, 2018, Mr Lanera visited his mother in her care home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and found her lying in a urine-stained bed still in her clothes from the day before.
When he checked the camera he discovered the horrific footage.
When the pair were questioned, Herring said she knew “drag lifting” was not permitted because it was unsafe and she had been taught that in training sessions, the court heard.
Maria Jackson also accepted her actions had been wrong and went against her training.
Herring, 55, of Leeds, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to a charge of ill-treatment by a care worker, which can carry a maximum sentence of five years in jail.
She was given an 18-month community order and told to do 250 hours' unpaid work for the community.
Jackson, 41, of Hipperholme, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to common assault and also received an 18-month community order. She was ordered to do 180 hours' unpaid work.
Although Herring had been suspended from the nursing register, she continued to work in the care sector, the court heard.
Jackson had been doing kitchen work at other care homes during the COVID pandemic.
Herring expressed remorse and said she was ashamed of her conduct in the footage.
Jackson’s barrister said she had been relatively inexperienced and junior at the time of the offending.
She was said to have handled a difficult situation badly and that it was a great regret.
The Recorder of Bradford Judge Richard Mansell QC said “drag lifting” was specifically excluded because it was potentially unsafe, never mind the indignity it involved.
He told them: “I totally reject any suggestion that either of you were not sufficiently trained or experienced to understand that.
“You had the training, however, and to drag a lady as vulnerable as her from the toilet, with her knickers around her ankles and then to manhandle her on to and up her bed, whilst she was moaning and crying in distress, is a gross failure by both of you to care for this lady.”
He accepted that dealing with such vulnerable residents was challenging, but added: "You both deserve to have lost, or to lose, your jobs because this kind of lack of humane treatment has no place in any care home setting.”
Judge Mansell said the pair would have got away with what they had done if Mr Lanera had not installed the camera.
He said many right-thinking members of the public would consider that a short sentence of imprisonment was deserved by both defendants.
But the judge concluded the offending had not been wilful or deliberate ill-treatment.
He said it had been “grossly negligent behaviour” brought about by a lazy, sloppy failure on the part of both defendants to take their time and follow proper caring procedures in Mrs Lanera’s care plan.
He added that if it had taken up to half an hour to use a Zimmer frame, chair or hoist to carefully lift Mrs Lanera, who has since passed away, back into bed and get her settled, that should have happened.
Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Lanera expressed anger at the pair.
He said: “I'm really angry with them for what they did to my mum.
“Mamello has set up her own healthcare business. This is an insult to my late mother.
"She had also been warned before about her actions when she lifted a patient with a broken leg at another care home.
“I believe in second chances and we all make mistakes. But she hasn't learnt from her mistakes and now she's been able to set up a business in healthcare.
“She shouldn't be able to work in care again.
“Jackson is working in a kitchen, at least she is away from vulnerable people there.”