'Beast' tormented and teased vulnerable patients at Plymouth care home
A MAN has admitted mistreating three vulnerable elderly people in his care, causing one to call him a 'beast' and cry out for her dead mother.
Lewis Moore, 21, had worked at the Lambspark care home in Plympton looking after "particularly vulnerable adults" including some with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and dementia.
Plymouth Crown Court heard how Moore made "very upsetting and derogatory remarks" about an incontinent 78-year-old woman, teased and tormented an elderly male and had thrown a woman with Parkinson's disease down on her bed.
Moore initially faced five charges under the Mental Capacity Act of 2005, in relation to three women and two men who lacked mental capacity.
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Following a Goodyear indication by Judge Paul Darlow, Moore, of Millwood Drive, Leigham, pleaded guilty to three of the offences of ill-treating or willfully neglecting a person in his care who he "reasonably believed to lack mental capacity".
The offences took place between November 2011 and January 2012.
The pleas were accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service who said the remaining charges would not be pursued.
Prosecutor Jo Martin told the court Moore had been employed at the firm since March 2011 and other members of staff had become "concerned" at his methods.
The first charge related to a 78-year-old man who had a "habit of wanting cigarettes and an egg sandwich before he went to bed".
She said Moore was heard "teasing and tormenting" the man, refusing him his bed time sandwich "which clearly distressed him".
The second charge related to a 78-year-old woman suffering dementia who was also doubly incontinent.
Ms Martin explained how Moore would "make very upsetting and derogatory remarks" about her condition. He would also "swear at her and make matters worse for her".
The elderly woman would then have to be calmed by other members of staff.
The third charge related to an elderly woman who has since died.
The victim was "clearly suffering advanced dementia" from Parkinson's disease.
She had not wanted to leave the lounge area but Moore had picked her up and carried her up two flights of stairs.
Ms Martin explained that as he carried her against her will "she called him 'a beast' and called for her mother'.
"Another member of care staff had captured this on mobile phone.
"The clip showed [the victim] placed or thrown onto her bed while she was clearly very distressed".
Judge Darlow released Moore on bail pending a probation report. He will return to court on February 8 for sentencing.
Following the hearing, Det Con Chris Marriott and Det Sgt Karen Bradfield, from Plymouth police's Safeguarding Adults Investigation Team spoke of the case.
Det Con Marriott said the multi-agency investigation had been carried out by detectives alongside staff from Plymouth City Council's social services department and health officials, as well as staff and managers of the care home.
Det Con Marriott said: "This is new law which has not been tried and tested very often in the country and this is the first such case we have had come to court in the Plymouth area.
"The care home fully supported the investigation, followed the correct safeguarding procedure when alerted and took appropriate action as soon as they were told of the abuse.
"The incidents were upsetting for the care home staff who witnessed them and for the families of the victims.
"We want to thank everyone involved for their support in bringing this case to court.
"If carers are out there and witness any form of abuse, we want them to contact police. We have a dedicated safeguarding team which will investigate such allegations."
Gareth Wraighte, owner and manager of the Lambspark care home said: "We have worked closely in partnership with the police and the local authority to ensure that this young man's actions were fully investigated and that his wrongdoings were brought to justice.
"As an organisation we strive for honesty, openness and accountability and we commend our staff for both their bravery in coming forward and their commitment to upholding fairness and decency and doing the 'right thing' to name and shame this individual that abused the trust placed in him by the organisation, fellow colleagues and service users.
"We have endeavoured to root out and make an example of this 'rotten apple' and we hope that this sends a message that this behaviour will not be tolerated in our industry.
"We are all deeply saddened by the actions of this individual and we hope that the decision of the courts can now provide some closure for those involved in the case and protection for the wider public to ensure that he can never again work in a setting with vulnerable adults."
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