Two care workers who mocked dementia sufferers and threw stones at them during a spate of ‘happy slap’ pranks have been jailed for 20 weeks.
Student nurse Abana Arshad and care assistant Amy Greenhalgh, both 24, hurled gravel at victims as they begged them to stop and would laugh as they filmed their reactions on mobile phones.
Up to seven elderly residents with dementia or Alzheimers were secretly targeted by the pair while they worked a shift at a specialist EMI unit at the Laburnum Court care home in Salford, Greater Manchester..
Arshad and Greenhalgh, whose mother is a nurse, were eventually found out when one was seen loading her pockets with gravel from the driveway.
One resident had rolled up plastic gloves thrown at her. Stones were also found on the floors of the rooms of the victims. None of the victims were able to say who ill-treated them due to their conditions.
Student nurse Abana Arshad (right) and care assistant Amy Greenhalgh (left) both 24,outside Manchester Magistrates
When the pair realised they were going to be discovered, they tried to pin the blame on some of the residents and smeared one innocent senior colleague as a ‘crackhead.’ They also warned each other to delete any incriminating pictures on the phones.
In a Facebook exchange Greenhalgh said: ‘Someone’s reported us about stones being thrown’ only for Arshad to respond. ‘Are you for real? You can’t trust anyone in work I swear. Haha. Just say Jack threw something at Cindy.. Delete it all off your phone to be on the safe side.’
Greenhalgh added: ‘Did we get all the stones off the floor in the rooms’ whilst Abana replied: ‘Don’t think anybody will clock that. I’ll back you.’
Police found the messages when they interviewed the pair about the conduct. One mocking video of a resident was recovered which said: ‘Cindy dancing on the floor – checking if people are looking haha’ with lots of laughing emojis.
Up to seven elderly residents with dementia or Alzheimers were secretly targeted by the pair while they worked a shift at a specialist EMI unit at the Laburnum Court care home (pictured)
In a statement Craig Gardner, whose 67-year old father Jack was one of the victims said he and his sister had to sell their parent’s house to pay for the £1,000 a week care fees for Jack and their mother who has Alzheimers and who lives in a different nursing home.
Mr Gardner, 43, said: ‘Other staff at the care home have been nothing short of brilliant in caring for our dad and other residents but it’s been utterly horrifying for us to find out it has been taken away from us by the very people who should have been caring for him.
‘He has been truly let down and whilst the nature of his illness likely means he will forget, we will not.
At Manchester magistrates court, Arshad, from Crumpsall and Greenhalgh from Eccles were each jailed for 20 weeks after being convicted of ill-treating a person without mental capacity. Several of their victims have since passed away.
Sentencing District Judge James Hatton told them: ‘The victims deserve more from two young people who should have been caring for them.
‘They should have been treated with dignity, yet they were not. They should have been treated with respect yet they were not. Instead these two defendants treated the victims like they were there for their own amusement.
‘They mocked and bullied people who were unable to protect and defend themselves and they never demonstrated any genuine remorse for their behaviour.’
The incidents took place on July 15 2018 whilst the pair were working together at the 31 bed unit.
Senior colleague Aaliyah Hussain told an earlier hearing: ‘When I went outside on a break I saw Abana, stand up from bending down and put something into her pocket. A couple of stones dropped out of her hand and she put her hands into her pockets and returned through the main entrance.
‘Upon returning one of the other residents was shouting: ‘stop it. Why are you doing that? Get away’. It was over and over again and she was quite distressed.
‘Abana and Amy were both there in the doorway of her room. I went into the lady’s room and there was some stones on the floor under her chair. I spoke to her but she wasn’t able to tell me what had happened so, I just reassured her. Then I could hear the resident next door shouting: ‘Stop doing that. Don’t throw them at me don’t throw them at me’.
‘I went into her room and there were stones on the floor. I asked Abana and Amy what they where doing but they were just laughing and didn’t give me proper reasons. There was a comment made one of the other residents who had been in bed and she tried to chase both of them when they threw stones at her. Abana threw a stone and then blamed another resident.’
After he case Sonia Morris, 37, whose mother Zena was one of the victims said: ‘There has been no remorse, no apology. In fact
Amy needed it explaining about effect their behaviour has had on the family.
‘At an earlier hearing I couldn’t believe the arrogance of them. Outside court they were smiling, laughing and having fun as if it was all one big joke.
‘We could even hear them saying it ‘will be all done soon and we will go home, have tea, watch TV and put our onesies on’. It’s just shocking how they have been.’