Beck Row carer jailed for neglect

Oxford Crown Court
Oxford Crown Court

A carer has been jailed after she refused to let other care staff into a house where a pensioner she was looking after was injured.

A court heard how 80-year-old dementia and Alzheimer’s patient Kate Grant pressed her pendant alarm button when she injured her knee but when other carers arrived, Mireya Gheorgui, 58, now of Heathlands, Beck Row, refused to let them in.

Gheorgui starts a 15-month jail sentence this week after admitting wilful neglect of Mrs Grant, whose death six days later was unconnected with the incident.

Judge Peter Ross told Gheorgui at Oxford Crown Court: “You had secured the door in such a way to prevent anyone from gaining access. That door should be unlocked at all times. It is alarmed to alert you that Mrs Grant is trying to leave.

“All of this means that you had something to hide. I draw the inference that by that stage, Mrs Grant was injured.

“You knew well your duties that night, but you ignored them and took steps to hide from those who would have been able to help.”

Mrs Grant, who lived in her own home in Witney, Oxfordshire, pressed the alarm button at about 11.20pm on March 15, 2016.

Prosecution counsel Oliver Wellings said when help arrived, Gheorgui seemed to have fixed the door lock so that it could not be opened from the outside and put a chair against the door claiming it was to stop Mrs Grant leaving.

He added: “The care attendant, Hazel Kipping, knocked on the door. A voice said ‘yes’. The voice was clearly not Mrs Grant. Ms Kipping explained who she was and said that Kate had pressed her pendant.”

He said Gheorgui said ‘everything is alright’ but Ms Kipping’s key would not turn in the lock.

When Gheorgui was relieved next day by the regular carer, who had been away, she had not completed the care notes and observed Mrs Grant had been agitated and difficult overnight.

Mr Wellings added: “The usual carer noticed that Mrs Grant was struggling to walk on her right leg.”

Defence barrister Jason Coulter said Gheorgui became jobless when her then employer Cleeve Care was disbanded.

Judge Ross said: “There must be a reason your client denied the care worker access to the house. She was pretty determined with it. Your client wished to hide something.”

Mr Coulter replied: “The defendant said she had taken the precaution because the door was alarmed. She knew of the [Mrs Grant’s] wandering.

“She accepts that she wilfully neglected the needs of her charge, Mrs Grant.”