A health worker caught by video surveillance pushing an 88-year-old woman with dementia to the ground before she lay in agony with a broken hip has been jailed.
Jane Beverley Griffiths, 66, knocked over the frail Matilda Connell in a hospital psychiatric ward, leaving her in “excruciating pain”.
She then told staff at Furness General Hospital in Cumbria that Matilda had stumbled.
However, her lies were exposed when footage emerged showing Griffiths grappling with her victim in a hallway before pushing her to the floor of an adjoining room.
In the footage, Matilda can be heard screaming in agony as Griffiths turned off the lights and stood over her in “caring indifference.”
When medical help arrived, Griffiths claimed, “She didn’t say she was in pain.”
Griffiths later admitted an assault that caused grievous bodily harm and was jailed at Preston Crown Court for 19 months.
The court heard how Matilda, who has Alzheimer’s and dementia, was moved to the unit after becoming “confused, agitated and anxious” at the care home where she lived.
On the day of the incident, she had hit another patient with her purse and Griffiths, from Barrow, was ordered to take her to another room to calm her down.
The damning footage played in court shows her escorting Matilda into the next room before shoving her through the door, causing her to fall to the ground.
Matilda is then heard screaming in pain and asking Griffiths to “call the doctor quick.”
But the court heard her neglect to call for help and instead turned off the light in the room.
Later, staff came to Matilda’s aid, and the next day she underwent surgery for a broken hip.
The court heard how family members feared that she would not survive the operation due to her vulnerability.
Matilda is said to be unable to walk unaided after the incident.
Griffiths was later reported to police by the unit’s matron after CCTV images were reviewed by hospital staff.
Patrick Cassidy defended himself, telling the court how well known Griffiths was at Barrow, having worked in the care sector for 46 years.
He went on to describe her outbreak as an “isolated incident.”
But Judge Darren Preston told her: “Her immediate reaction was to protect herself.
“Surveillance footage shows a very different course of events than what you describe. They showed a callous indifference to the pain she suffered.
“You only thought of protecting yourself. You still struggle to take responsibility for what you have done.
“Your victim has lost her independence and dignity from the injury you inflicted on her.”
After the sentencing, Ms Connell’s family said: “Throughout her life, mother was always a kind and caring person who constantly put the needs of others ahead of her own.
“At a point in her life when she needed specialized care and support, she was severely disappointed.
“The attack, captured on CCTV, shows a callous disregard for my mother’s safety and well-being. She was knocked over and left in excruciating pain in a dark room for some time.
“She fractured her hip and required surgery at the age of 88.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/02/health-worker-left-dementia-patient-88-with-broken-hip-after-shove-16756779/ Health workers exit dementia patient, 88, with broken hip after impact