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Monday, 10 August 2015

Family appalled at community order for Birmingham care home workers

Written by The Press Association

Carers who concocted a lie to explain away a pensioner's fall and then delayed raising the alarm have been spared jail with relatives calling the sentence "appalling".

Sabrina Duncan (pictured) and Benter Ouma were handed a community order with unpaid work after admitting negligence over the incident at The Green Nursing Home in Birmingham involving 85-year-old Norah Boyle.

Duncan, aged 40 and a full-time staff member at the time, and agency worker Ouma, aged 32, were not responsible for the fall but were grossly negligent in their response, Birmingham Crown Court heard on Friday.

Mrs Boyle suffered a head injury in the fall as she slipped from a hoist while being put to bed by the care workers, and died 23 days later in hospital after developing pneumonia.

Her daughter, 57-year-old Ellen Boyle, said: "I'm appalled that that's what they got for what happened to my mum, and what they didn't do.

"I'm appalled that my mother's life is only worth 12 months of a community order."

Sentencing the two at the city court, Judge Mark Wall QC said it was a tragedy that as a result of their actions "there has been a lengthy investigation into what happened and a delay in the ability of her family to make arrangements for her funeral".

Mr Wall ordered Duncan, of Albion Road, in Sutton in Surrey, and Ouma, of Summerfield Crescent in Edgbaston, Birmingham to each carry out 160 hours of unpaid work.

The judge said: "This is a tragic case because the person who was in your care and about whom this case involved, Norah Boyle, has died.

"It is obvious to me from the statement of her daughter Ellen Boyle that she was a deeply-loved woman and is now greatly missed.

"It is tragic, of course, that the circumstances of her death meant there has been a lengthy investigation into what happened and a delay in the ability of her family to make arrangements for her funeral.

"I must make it clear before sentencing that the prosecution have never brought a case to court based on fact either of you were responsible for her death."

He added: "Whereas originally the jury were put in charge of an allegation of your being responsible for her fall, I now remind myself I sentence you because you failed to report as quickly as you might have done about what had happened to this lady and then lied about how she might have come by her injuries."

Mr Wall added that it was impossible to say whether reporting the incident to the nurse on duty at the care home any earlier than they did on September 5 2013, would have made any difference to Mrs Boyle's eventual death.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2015, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Richard Vernalls/PA Wire.