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Friday, 14 November 2014

Care worker jailed for six months for hitting disabled teenager

Written by The Press Association

A care worker has been jailed for six months after he was caught on a secret camera striking a disabled teenager twice on the back of the head.

The parents of Zak Rowlands, 19, noticed he had started flinching when they approached so decided to place a covert camera in their son's room at the Oxen Barn Residential Home in Leyland, Lancashire.

The surveillance picked up Stanley Nkenka, 36, hitting the teenager and then threatening to repeat the assault if he got out of bed.

Mr Rowlands, who cannot speak and is the size of a 12-year-old, was born with a chromosome disorder and has autism and learning difficulties.

Nkenka, from St Ethelbert's Avenue, Bolton, pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court last month to ill-treatment of a person without mental capacity in the early hours of May 12.

The footage showed the defendant bringing Mr Rowlands back to his bedroom after he wandered off during the night and then hitting him.

He then pushed him on to the bed and called him "a stupid boy" .

As the youngster lay in darkness, he later approached him and quietly said: "Do you want some more?" before he went on to strike him again on the back of the head on a separate occasion.

Sentencing him at Preston Crown Court, Judge Christopher Cornwall said: "The ill-treatment that is complained of seems to me to be dismissive of him as an individual, unkind and uncaring, and really disrespectful of him as a human being.

"Carers must know that if they fall so far below the standards that are expected of them to the extent that they ill-treat the people they care for, they must know they put their liberty at jeopardy."

Oxen Barn - privately run by the Priory Group - is a specialist home for adults who have autistic spectrum disorders and severe learning difficulties.

Earlier this year, two care workers working for another Priory Group company in Bury were jailed for seven months after they were caught on a secret camera physically and verbally abusing a quadriplegic man.

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