Action on Elder Abuse has written to the Attorney General and asked him to review the sentences given to the three abusers of 79 year old dementia sufferer, Gladys Wright. The abuse of Mrs Wright was caught by her son on a hidden camera and showed her being pushed, shoved and pulled on a number of occasions, while she was subjected to a tirade of verbal abuse. Her abusers treated her like a lump of meat, goading her and assaulting her. At Bristol Crown Court on Friday 20th June 2014 one was given a four month prison sentence, while the others were given community service or suspended sentences.
Commenting on the case Gary FitzGerald, Chief Executive of Action on Elder Abuse, said
“What these three people did was appalling, and if it had been a child I am sure the sentences would have been far harsher and more appropriate. You hurt just as much at 79 years as you do at 9 years of age and we should treat these criminal acts in the same way. We believe that this sentencing is too lenient, does not convey the seriousness with which the public view such abuse, and will not act as a deterrent.”
The charity noted that, on the same day in in Newport Magistrates Court, 47-year-old Racquel Welch of Wyndcliffe View, St Arvans, was given equally lenient sentencing of two 26-week sentences for two counts of assault, suspended for 12 months. Her actions were equally vile and her victims were also very frail, vulnerable old people.
“There is no point in criminalising acts of abuse if the consequences are so light as to be ineffectual. This not only sends a message to abusers that they can get away with it, but it undermines the fantastic work and commitment of thousands of other care staff. We have now given the Attorney General the opportunity to put this right and we hope that he does so.”