Carer admits ill treating man in tired food row

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

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A witness who saw a care worker repeatedly push back a disabled man’s head feared 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, had recently received his medication and did not appear to want to eat.

Eat your food now. I haven’t got all day

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

Forrest, who told police she felt like a zombie after doing sleep-over duty, swore and shouted at him: “Eat your food now. I haven’t got all day.”

Forrest,24, of The Crescent, South Shore, admitted to ill-treating a patient. She was bailed for pre-sentence reports by District Judge Jeff Brailsford at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor, Malcolm Isherwood, said Forrest worked at a unit for people with assisted living needs on Gerrards Terrace, Poulton, which was run by the UBU Company.

Five men aged between 35 and 55, who had disabilities ranging from Downs Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and dementia, lived there.

On April 20 at lunchtime Forrest was feeding the victim. A co-worker described her as “stressed” and saw her push the patient’s head back about six times. The prosecutor said: “The witness was worried this might break his neck or start up a seizure. The witness was shocked and disgusted and went to the bathroom where they were almost physically sick.”

The witness reported the incident to a line manager who reported it to a senior manager but police were not informed, so the witness went direct to the police.

When questioned by police Forrest denied ill-treating the patient. She said sleep-over duty at the home left her feeling like a zombie and sometimes staff did not get a break. Brett Chappell, defending, said his client, apologised unreservedly for her behaviour.