'abhorrent' | 

Care worker caught on CCTV shoving ‘severely disabled’ dementia patient avoids jail

Alexandra McKenna-Roy (26) admitted a single count of common assault carried out in March this year

Paul HigginsSunday Life

This is the care assistant who narrowly avoided jail after being caught on CCTV roughly handling a “severely disabled” dementia patient.

Imposing a four-month prison sentence on Alexandra McKenna-Roy, District Judge Nigel Broderick said the patient was “wholly at your mercy” and that it was “not without some hesitation” that he was suspending the jail term for three years.

“This assault, abhorrent as it was, was as a result of her [McKenna-Roy] losing control for a relatively short period of time,” the judge told Antrim Magistrates Court.

Ordering the 26-year-old to pay £500 compensation, the judge said it was clear from the footage that despite the victim’s disabilities, he “recognised this was something that should not have happened and he understandably lashed out to defend himself”.

McKenna-Roy, from Limetree Close in Antrim, admitted a single count of common assault carried out in March this year.

A prosecution lawyer told the court how the victim’s family had set up CCTV to ensure he was getting the proper care.

On March 19 this year, his family noted a daily diary had not been properly filled in, so they checked the footage and noticed that, at one stage, McKenna-Roy had been feeding yoghurt to the victim when he became “distracted by the TV” in his room. “The injured party started to become irritated, and this started to annoy the defendant somehow,” the lawyer told the court.

He added that the assault came about by McKenna-Roy “aggressively wiping [the patient’s] face and abruptly shoving him onto his bed”.

“The footage shows instant pain is caused to the victim — that is clear from the footage of his face — and we say that the care given fell far below that which would be expected,” the lawyer said.

When McKenna-Roy was spoken to about the incident, she was remorseful.

A defence barrister said that is client wanted to publicly apologise to the victim and his family.

He also announced she had resigned from the company.

“She was phenomenally fatigued at the time. That’s not an excuse, but context is everything,” the barrister said.

He added that given his client’s previously clear record, she was not likely to find herself back before a court again.

Judge Broderick told McKenna-Roy that while he accepted care assistants often faced stressful situations, the victim was “wholly at your mercy, totally vulnerable” when she had a “lapse of control”.

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