A WHISTLEBLOWER has described a series of “cruel” incidents by two co-workers at a Huddersfield care home.
Laura Oldroyd told a jury at Leeds Crown Court that she saw Mark Senior and Hope Young laughing after they allegedly sprayed Alcogel handwash into a resident’s mouth.
The duo, 28 and 18 respectively, are on trial for multiple counts relating to ill-treatment of senile elderly residents at Green View House care home in Gledholt in 2011.
The home has since shut down.
A third defendant, Louise Dent, 24, is charged with one similar offence.
Ms Oldroyd told the court she had seen numerous incidents of abuse against the elderly residents, many of whom had severe dementia.
She said Senior had an “inappropriate rapport” with one resident and had seen him slap her on the bottom and put his hand up her skirt.
Referring to her allegations regarding the Alcogel, she said: “They said they had done it because she was screaming ‘mum’ and ‘help’, to make her shut up.
“They were both having a laugh about it together.”
But Andrew Haslam, defending for Senior, said Ms Oldroyd had just heard a rumour.
He said Ms Oldroyd had confronted his client about the rumour and he had sarcastically admitted it – in other words he had not done it.
Ms Oldroyd denied his claim.
Ms Oldroyd also said she had witnessed Senior treating one elderly gentleman like a dog.
She said he had taken his slipper and thrown it down the hall and shouted “fetch”.
And in further allegations, she said she saw Young grab a female resident by her arm and “rag her until she fell to the floor”.
She added: “It seemed like a joke to Hope, she was laughing all the while.”
Ms Oldroyd also claimed to have seen Young commit “unprovoked abuse” by flicking the eyes of residents.
She said she had tried to report the incidents to Gateway To Care and Kirklees social services but had struggled to be taken seriously.
She said: “It was very difficult to get this case here. I tried to do a lot before I even went to the police.”
But Mr Haslam, and co-counsel, Jayne Beckett for Young, both said Ms Oldroyd had a grudge against her former employer and the three defendants.
They said she had been given a written warning for being off sick following a work night out and had been summoned to a second disciplinary for refusing orders from a nurse shortly before she resigned amid the abuse claims.
But Ms Oldroyd denied her allegations were “malicious”.
She said: “From May 2011 on I saw Hope Young being repeatedly cruel to residents. I had nothing to gain from reporting it.”
The jury also heard from two other former employees at the home, nurse Sarah Guthrie and care worker Michelle Boothroyd.
Ms Boothroyd said she saw Senior throw a soft fabric football at a blind resident.
She said: “You could see the sheer panic in that woman’s face.
“Her arms were flapping around in case anything else was coming.
“He found it funny, he had a big smile on his face.”
Ms Boothroyd also told the jury another female resident went “beetroot red” after Senior smacked her on the behind.
Ms Guthrie, also told the court she had seen Senior throw the ball at a man who was asleep in a chair.
She said she had concerns he was not taking the job seriously and he had made a joke about the incident.
Mr Haslam said the throwing of the ball was a “common activity” and said it had not been thrown with any force.
The case continues.