Doris Obi, a 33 years old healthcare assistant could be jailed after an elderly patient in her care fell and died. The claim was that she was allegedly sleeping while on duty watching an elderly pensioner, who had dementia, throughout the night at a care home.
The name of the pensioner nor the care home cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Obi, who leaves in Plymouth, Devon, was found guilty of neglecting the 87-year-old woman, who fell and cut her head and passed away a month later from deteriorating health.
‘The agency worker either fell asleep or was not paying attention to the woman in the early hours of the morning when she fell’. Plymouth Crown Court heard.
The elderly woman cut her forehead open when she fell in her private room and she needed 17 stitches.
Obi denied charges of wilfully neglecting a person lacking mental capacity in her care between August 29 and September 1 last year.
She said the woman fell as she turned away for just a few seconds to switch a light on.
Despite her claims, Obi, who worked for Nurseplus, was found guilty and wiped tears from her eyes after the verdict.
Judge James Townsend adjourned sentencing until September 17, and warned that ‘all options are open’.
Barrister Michael Green, for Obi, suggested that case law pointed to a jail term of six to 12 months, which could be suspended as she had no previous convictions.
She was released on unconditional bail.
Obi, a healthcare assistant for about a year before the incident, was working at the home for the first time on the night of the accident. She was also warned that the pensioner had trouble sleeping at night and was at risk of falling.
One of the care home staff said she saw Obi with her legs over the armchair and a pillow behind her. She told the jury the defendant appeared flustered as if she had just woken up.