Care worker dragged dementia patient across the floor

A 95-year-old man, who lives at a Fife dementia residential home, was physically abused by a care worker.

Thursday, 11th July 2019, 12:06 pm
Barrogil House. Picture: Google

The frail man was pulled to his feet then dragged across his bedroom at Barrogil House, Cluny.

Care worker Kim Timmins lost her temper and “snapped” but, after hearing she had since lost her job, a sheriff decided not to impose any further punishment.

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Timmins, 60, of MacDuff Road, Glenrothes, appeared for sentencing at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

She previously admitted that on October 6, at Barrogil House, being a person providing care or treatment to a male patient, she ill-treated or wilfully neglected him by dragging him to his feet and dragging him across his bedroom.

Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia said the victim was “frail, small in stature, suffers from dementia and uses a walking aid”.

The incident occurred after Timmins took the man to the toilet after he had urinated in his bed.

The man became upset, was shouting and grabbed her hair.

A nurse heard Timmins shout “Shut up” before moving him back to sit on his bed but she then noticed the bed sheets had not been changed.

She moved him again to a chair by dragging the man and a nurse saw this happen.

She told Timmins: “You were dragging him.”

She replied: “You deal with it” and left the room.

When police later asked Timmins if she thought her actions were excessive towards the man that day, she answered, “Yes, I feel absolutely terrible. I’ve gone over it so many times in my head since it happened.”

Timmins, who had worked at the home for nine years, resigned as a result of the incident.

Defence solicitor Iain McCafferty said the incident occurred when his client “snapped” near the end of her third successive 12-hour nightshift.

“She lost her temper and acted inappropriately for a number of seconds. She very much regrets her actions,” he added.

Sheriff James MacDonald told Timmins: “I’ve found this a difficult case. This was a momentary lapse in the standard of care you provided for a number of years.”

He pointed out that she had already paid a significant penalty by losing her job and her livelihood. He admonished Timmins.

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