Padiham carer cleared of cruelty to dementia sufferers

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A senior carer from Padiham has been cleared of ill-treating elderly dementia sufferers at an East Lancashire care home.

Mark Taylor (57), of Stockbridge Road, was acquitted of three charges of ill-treatment or wilful neglect of vulnerable residents at the Haslingden Lodge care home in Haslingden.

The jury unanimously found him not guilty of the charges following a week-long trial at Burnley Crown Court.

During the five-day hearing it had been alleged that Mr Taylor slapped one resident Mary Burke, known as Olive, on the bottom to get her to stand up from her wheelchair while going to the toilet.

The jury was also told Mr Taylor was alleged to have intervened in an incident where resident Ann Coombe was shouting at and hitting the home’s deputy manager Natasha Crompton.

Carer Mary Moore had told the court Taylor put his arms round Mrs Coombe from behind and grabbed her before “marching” her off down the corridor at pace where he was said to have opened a door, “pushed” her through it and left her there.

However Tim Storrie (defending) had said that he prevented Mrs Coombe from hurting herself or others and had taken her back to her room.

A similar incident was said to have occurred the following week involving Mrs Coombe at the Lancaster Avenue home in 2012.

Mr Taylor had originally been charged with another three counts of ill-treatment.

However, Judge Robert Altham ruled that the defendant had no case to answer and instructed the jury to return not guilty verdicts.

Mr Taylor had strongly denied the allegations throughout the crown court trial.

The jury had heard a police interview with Mr Taylor, who had been a carer for 12 years, in which he told them he had never ill-treated any of the residents in the home.

He had described being frightened during one incident when he found Mrs Coombes putting a knife in the toaster.

He had told officers he took the knife off her and she went to pick up another one.

He said he reacted by grabbing her to stop her lashing out and took her along the corridor to her room.

He had said: “It happened so quickly. I was panicking.”

When police asked if he had restrained her, he replied “I know not to do that.”

He told police “I am a professional in my work and sometime too professional. I have always tried to help people. I respect people 100% that I work with.”

Mr Taylor was found not guilty on all charges by the jury who took 90 minutes to reach their conclusion at Burnley Crown Court.