The family of a 95-year-old blind woman who was called a ‘b****’ by two male carers and slapped by one of them criticised the justice system last night after they escaped jail.
Relatives of dementia sufferer Marjorie Preston set up a secret camera in her room at a care home after spotting unexplained bruises on her arms.
When they watched the footage they were horrified. The film revealed Polish national Piotre Ciecielowski, 26, and Pedro Dias, 21, originally from Portugal, swearing at and man-handling the widow – whose late husband Bernard was a D-Day veteran – as they got her ready for bed at Prestbury House Care Home in Macclesfield, Cheshire.
Harrowing footage of the incident has been released by the woman’s daughter, who branded the men ‘evil and a disgrace’
A distressed Mrs Preston can be seen pleading ‘Please God, help me,’ and asking for her glasses, but Dias simply tells her to ‘shut the f*** up’. He threatens to ‘break every bone’ in her body and says he will ‘drag her by her neck to bed’ and ‘kill’ her if she resists.
Chester Crown Court was told that Dias was also seen slapping the grandmother across the face, causing her to yelp in pain. He called her a ‘dipstick’ and a ‘d***head’, accused her of trying to bite and scratch him, and said: ‘God thinks you are a b****.’ Ciecielowski failed to stop Dias or report him and branded Mrs Preston a ‘silly b****’.
The carers, who claimed they weren’t properly trained to deal with challenging dementia patients, both admitted ill-treatment and were sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years. They were also banned from working as carers and ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.
Pedro Dias, 21, and Piotre Ciecielowski, 26, verbally abused a 95-year-old blind woman they were caring for as she got ready for bed at Prestbury House Care Home in Macclesfield
Judge Simon Berkson told the men, from Macclesfield, their behaviour had degraded the victim and was cruel.
Mrs Preston’s daughter Lynne Nuttall, 63, said she was outraged that the ‘evil’ pair escaped prison. She said: ‘What does that sentence say about how we care for the elderly in our society, when two large men can treat a 95-year-old blind woman like that but can walk free?
‘My mother was walloped out of nowhere and wouldn’t have seen it coming. It breaks my heart.’
Mrs Nuttall said she released the distressing footage, taken in March, because she wants to see surveillance introduced at all care homes to protect elderly residents. ‘I fear that incidents like this are now all too common,’ she said. ‘I captured just one incident on camera but the full extent of physical and psychological abuse and harm done to my mother may never be known.
Lynne Nuttall with her mother Marjorie Preston, 95, who was the victim of ill-treatment at the Prestbury House Care Home in Macclesfield, Cheshire
Piotre Cicielowski (left) verbally abused the 95-year-old while Pedro Dias (right) slapped the frail grandmother
It shows Ciecielowski and Dias swearing at the elderly woman, slapping her, and ‘forcibly and unceremoniously’ dumping the woman onto her bed
Mrs Nuttall said she cried out in horror when she first saw the footage recorded on the secret camera
‘Only because of my intervention were these men caught and stopped. Surveillance cameras are the only way forward in any institution that houses vulnerable people. It is the only way to protect our loved ones.’
The cameras she wants in rooms would record to a memory card which relatives would view in private. Residents who did not want one could opt out.
She said that when she watched the footage of her mother she cried out in horror.
She added: ‘Putting my mum in a care home was the hardest thing I have ever done.
‘These two men felt that it was the home’s fault for not training them correctly. How much training do you need to know that hitting and verbally abusing a defenceless 95-year-old blind person is totally unacceptable? They are evil. Even through her dementia, mum still occasionally says things like, ‘‘that man who hurt me, has he gone now?’’.’
The pair ‘forcibly and unceremoniously’ dumped the pensioner onto her bed at Prestbury House (pictured) and then threatened to ‘kill’ her when she complained
Mrs Nuttall, of Leek, Staffordshire, has kept her mother at the home because it has had a major staffing overhaul and close scrutiny by the Care Quality Commission. It was inspected by the CQC after Mrs Nuttall went to the police and was rated inadequate.
A spokesman for the home said: ‘We were shocked and appalled by the actions of these individuals whose behaviour went against everything we stand for.
‘We are challenging the outcome of the CQC report and strongly refute both its findings and the related claims made by the offenders.’
Despite the horrific treatment, Dias and Ciecielowski, both from Macclesfield, avoided jail and were handed a nine-month suspended sentence at Chester Crown Court