Care worker who force-fed crash victim spared jail

Blackpool Magistrates court
Blackpool Magistrates court

A care worker force-fed a disabled man by pushing his head back so hard a witness thought it might break his neck.

Rachael Forrest was trying to feed the 37-year-old man his lunch.

But he had his head on his chest and the man, who had been disabled in a car accident, did not appear to want to eat, a court heard.

She put her palm on his forehead and the man’s head was pushed back in a whip-lash manner about six times.

Forrest shouted at the man: ”Eat your food now. I have not got all day. I have other things to do.”

Forrest of The Crescent, South Shore, cried throughout a court hearing at which she pleaded guilty to ill treating a patient.

Sentencing the 24-year-old to a 12-week jail term suspended for a year, District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates Court told her: “Because of the huge care industry there is I have to make it clear to others working in that industry that they face severe penalties if they do not care properly for those who cannot look after themselves.”

Malcolm Isherwood, prosecuting, said Forrest worked for a private car firm – UBU – at a unit for people with assisted living needs.

Five men lived at the unit in Poulton.

He said: “Forrest was feeding the complainant and a co-worker said she looked stressed and saw her push the patient’s head back six times.

“The witness was worried this might break his neck or cause a seizure. The witness was shocked and disgusted and went to a bathroom where they were almost physically sick.”

The incident was reported to management who did not report it immediately to the police so the witness went themselves to the police.

In interview, Forrest told officers she was tired after doing a sleep over duty.

Brett Chappell, defending, said: “My client had worked at the home for five years and was properly qualified and had been held in high esteem. Forrest apologises unreservedly and there are no excuses for what she did.

“When she struggled to get the patient to eat she snapped and lost her temper.

“She massively let this man down.”

Forrest was ordered to do 150 unpaid work and pay the victim £200 compensation and £345 court costs.