A former legal bigwig and Bulgarian government official who came to England to work in the care industry has been ordered to carry out unpaid community work after he admitted ill-treating a dementia sufferer.
Ex-lawyer Georgi Georgiev, 57, from Bridlington, was three months into his role as a trainee carer at a Filey nursing home when he grabbed the elderly resident by the arm and flicked him in the face as he tried to wrestle him into bed.
The incident at the Woodlands nursing home in Primrose Valley was witnessed by a horrified fellow care assistant, who reported Georgiev to her superiors. She told managers that Georgiev had manhandled the elderly man before forcing him into his bed.
York Crown Court heard that the victim, who was partially-blind and in his 70s, was shocked and highly distressed when Georgiev touched his sore wrist. He punched Georgiev in the face as the Bulgarian care worker shouted at him in his native tongue.
When Georgiev’s colleague remonstrated with him about his behaviour, he responded by swearing at her.
Georgiev - who was a highly-regarded lawyer in his home country and who also held important positions in the Bulgarian military, police and government - was duly arrested and lost his job at the care home.
He appeared for sentence on Wednesday after pleading guilty to the ill-treatment of a man lacking capacity.
Prosecuting barrister Adam Mugliston said the victim, who was named in court, had since died, but this was due to illness and had nothing to do with the incident on October 20 last year.
He said the victim had a reputation for being quite demanding with staff but was also friendly towards them.
The incident happened at about 11.30pm, when the victim asked Georgiev and his colleague for help getting out of his chair and into bed.
After being grabbed by the arm, the dementia patient told Georgiev he was hurting him and to let go of his arm, but the carer shouted back at him before catching him in the face with a flick of the wrist.
Mr Mugliston said Georgiev did not strike the victim directly but tapped him on the jaw bone. The elderly man was not injured but Georgiev suffered a small cut to his lip as a result of being punched.
Defence barrister Simon Reevell said Georgiev had previously led a blame-free life and was a man “of some standing” in Bulgaria before immigrating to the UK.
“He’s now a part-time caravan cleaner, having lost his position in the care home,” added Mr Reevell.
Judge Mr D.P Hunt agreed that Georgiev, in temper, had accidentally caught the victim’s face with a flick during a “difficult situation”.
He added: “It is quite indicative of the time in which we live that you were a professional man, a lawyer of good standing and reputation in your home country of Bulgaria, yet things are better for you to live and work here in lower-paid capacities, in a care-home in Britain.”
Mr Hunt said in this case he could steer away from a prison sentence because although Georgiev’s behaviour was “inappropriate and aggressive”, he had not meant to harm the victim.
He added, however: “The public are rightly concerned about the ill-treatment of elderly people in care homes. It’s disgusting to see.”
Georgiev, of Gordon Road, Bridlington, was given a 12-month community order with 80 hours’ unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60.