The conviction of a care home worker should act as a deterrent to others tempted to mistreat vulnerable people, Leicestershire Police have said.
Malcolm Cramp, who worked at the Brockshill Woodlands Care Centre in Oadby, Leicestershire, was sentenced to 12 months at Leicester Crown Court on Friday (February 10).
He was convicted of seven counts of ill treatment under the Mental Capacity Act, involving four victims in their eighties or nineties. All had dementia.
Cramp tied one resident to a chair with a blanket. On another occasion, he tucked a resident’s duvet under the mattress, so she could not get out of bed. In another incident, he turned off a light switch that a resident wanted to be left on.
Cramp, 52, of Ervins Lock Road, Wigston, was arrested in January 2010.
Detective Sergeant Dan Granger, from Leicestershire Constabulary, said: “Cramp’s victims were among the most vulnerable members of society. They suffered from conditions including dementia, and were unable to speak up for themselves.
“This was a difficult prosecution because the victims were mostly unable to give evidence against Cramp. However, we persevered and were able to prove the case in front of a jury.
“We work closely with Leicestershire County Council and the Care Quality Commission on ensuring the safety of residents in care homes. Sometimes words of advice are enough to protect the residents’ safety, and in other cases our partners closely monitor the care given over a prolonged period. But in this case the abuse crossed the threshold of criminality, and a prosecution was the most appropriate way forward.
“I hope this case makes anyone else tempted to abuse elderly and vulnerable people to think again. This was a massive breach of trust.”
The prosecution was taken under clauses of the Mental Capacity Act relating to the wilful neglect or ill treatment of people who lack mental capacity.
A spokesman for Leicestershire County Council said: “We welcome the verdict reached to convict and sentence Cramp. The Council was alerted to the matters in relation to care practices at the home when they first came to light and immediate action was taken.
“As with any investigation regarding the protection of vulnerable people, the Council worked closely with the care home provider, the police and the Care Quality Commission. This ensures appropriate action is taken to protect vulnerable people from harm or abuse.
“We continue to work with providers across Leicestershire to raise the quality of care and ensure vulnerable people are safe and receive the high standard of care which respects their dignity.”
The case started after an anonymous tip-off to the Care Quality Commission.