Bridlington care home owner guilty of assaults on residents

The Briarwood care home in Station Avenue, Bridlington. (PA1322-4)

The Briarwood care home in Station Avenue, Bridlington. (PA1322-4)

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The owner of a Bridlington care home has been found guilty of three charges of assault against her residents.

Jacqueline Vera Blower, 72, of the Briarwood Care Home on Station Avenue, had denied four charges of assault relating to incidents on Friday, June 1 last year involving residents Ethel Teal and Hilda Faulkingham.

But at Bridlington Magistrates Court last Thursday, Blower was found guilty of three assault charges. A pre-sentence report is now being prepared before magistrates pass sentence.

Former employee Sarah Abdullah, 20, was a witness during the trial.

She told the Free Press: “I only worked there for three weeks, but I saw enough to say that it was the worst treatment I had come across. I had never seen anything like it.

“I had worked in domicilary care beforehand, and came down from Middlesbrough to start this new job.

“The two ladies involved, who have sadly since died, both had dementia.

“The assaults came about because the residents were supposedly ‘mis-behaving’ and in some instances had bumped into the walls or furniture with their walking frames. The residents involved were either too intimidated, or confused, to report what was going on.”

Another member of staff reported the assaults to police.

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) visit to the home last August revealed that there was – at that point – no one staying at the home, which had previously been home to four residents altogether.

The last report of the home by the CQC was made in July 2012 after concerns were raised about staffing.

The report said that “people were not cared for, or supported by, suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff” and that “there should be enough members of staff to keep people safe and meet their health and welfare needs”.

The East Riding Safeguarding Adults Board issued this statement: “The protection of those dependent on society to meet their care needs in a way that maintains their dignity and safety is critical.

“It is reassuring that everybody involved in this case has taken this abuse of two vulnerable elderly people seriously and we are pleased to see that justice has been served.”