Michael Lavery prosecutes ill-treatment of patient case

March 26, 2014

Michael Lavery a criminal barrister from Exchange Chambers has prosecuted two carers secretly filmed slapping, jabbing and humiliating a brain-damaged patient as he lay groaning in bed.

Footage shows Rita Page, 68, and Lynette Crook, 33, smacking the young victim’s legs and swearing at him as they changed his bedding at a £3,000-a-week Priory care home.

On the recording, made after relatives became concerned about his treatment at the private hospital, Page can be heard insulting the helpless patient as a ‘b*****d’ and a ‘dirty scummy boy’. She also tells her colleague ‘there’s this very fine line between abuse and neglect’. Crook is captured telling the patient: ‘I don’t do sick, so stop it, scummy lad.’

The women were arrested after relatives handed the recordings to police.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered brain damage in an accident when he was younger. He was looked after at the Priory Highbank specialist unit for neurological disorders in Bury, Greater Manchester, part of the Priory Group.

However, his family feared staff had not investigated their concerns about his treatment and hid surveillance cameras around the man’s room.

Among footage recorded in August and September 2012, Page is heard saying: ‘You won’t beat us, b*****d. There’s this very fine line between abuse and neglect. Don’t you dare be sick on me boy, don’t you dare – you dirty scummy boy.’

Crook is heard saying: ‘Better not think about being sick on me, lad. I don’t do sick, so stop it, scummy lad.’

Both women were suspended and this week pleaded guilty to charges of ill-treatment of the patient on the first day of their trial at Bolton Crown Court.

Page, from Bury, admitted two charges relating to her use of abusive language and slapping the patient during a struggle when she put a pillow between his legs. Crook, of Ramsbottom, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to three charges relating to jabbing him in the torso and head with a pen while he slept, using abusive language and slapping his leg as she took his blood pressure.

Seven other charges relating to the pair will lie on file. Both women were bailed to await sentencing in May but Judge Timothy Clayson warned them ‘immediate custody’ was likely.