Campaigners for the elderly today condemned a former care home worker who sickeningly abused a pensioner with dementia.
Lesley Foy, 54, is facing jail after being found guilty of ill-treating the 85-year-old.
There should be something to protect people when they are vulnerable, whether they are young or elderly
Foy had only been working at Chaseside Care Home, in St Annes, for three weeks when she pushed used toilet paper in the face of the woman who has dementia.
She was suspended and later hauled before the courts after a horrified colleague, who witnessed the sick act, blew the whistle on her.
Bev Sykes, of Fylde-based community group Just Good Friends, said: “There should be something to protect people when they are vulnerable, whether they are young or elderly.
“This should never happen but you hear of it again and again. These are vulnerable people and they should be protected at any cost.”
Blackpool Magistrates heard Foy, of Edgeway Road, South Shore, had been sacked from another care home on the Fylde coast for rough treatment of residents before starting at Chaseside, on St George’s Square, last year.
She denied the offence but was found guilty of wilfully ill-treating her victim and will learn her fate later this month.
Speaking after the court hearing, bosses at the home joined the social care watchdog in praising the actions of the whistle blower.
District Judge Margaret McCormack heard care assistant Anthony Beezer was with Foy on October 6, when they were asked to take the victim to the toilet.
What he witnessed shocked him and left him looking as if he had seen a ghost, the court heard.
While the toilet door was locked, Foy pushed a piece of used toilet paper in the woman’s face.
She then slapped the victim over the hands and then dug a ring she was wearing into the victim’s hand.
Foy pushed the old woman up against a wall, pulling her underwear down, and then teased the woman by continually offering her walking stick and then taking it away.
Mr Beezer told the court as Foy administered the slap, the victim– who was not well enough to attend court – was shouting: “Ow, ow, get off me. Stop.”
He said: “She then picked up a soiled piece of toilet wipe and put it into the woman’s face, saying ‘now look what you have done’.
“The resident was getting very distressed. I reported what had gone on and the police were called in. I have not seen anything like it in my life. It was not right.
“It was the wrong way to do things – she was teasing the resident. I was quite disgusted and did not really know how to cope with what was going on.
“It is not an easy thing to report somebody you work with but I did so.”
Speaking after the hearing, Caroline Taylforth, managing director of Chaseside, told The Gazette she was “very proud” of the actions of Mr Beezer and other members of staff who reported the incident.
She added: “They did the right thing. She should not be able to work with vulnerable people. We have now got CCTV cameras in the home to reassure residents, their relatives and staff. We are trying to make it as safe as possible in the home.”
She said the home had struggled to get a reference from Foy’s previous employers, Tudor Manor care home, because it had closed down.
She added: “The previous manager did find out she had been dismissed but had no idea why. We have got a new manager in the home now and everyone is vetted very closely to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
The Care Quality Commission, which regulates social care providers, said: “We are satisfied they (the home) took every single course of action they should have taken in that situation.”
Foy told the court she had not received any training and had not dealt with dementia sufferers before.
She denied the toilet wipe incident and claimed that the victim had not had the walking stick with her that day.
“I did not do anything improper,” she claimed.
Foy, who now works in the retail industry, was found guilty by the judge who said: “Mr Beezer was a credible witness and did not have an axe to grind.”
The judge asked for pre-sentence reports to be prepared on Foy with all options available, including jail.