A pensioner who grabbed a fellow care home resident’s arm to stop her from banging a teaspoon has been prosecuted following the incident.
William Hawksworth, 70, pleaded guilty to assaulting dementia sufferer Patricia Rose.
But magistrates told Hawksworth they sympathised with him and felt that he didn’t need to be punished.
He was given an absolute discharge and no order was made for costs.
His solicitor Bob Carr criticised the decision to bring the matter to court.
Kirklees magistrates heard that frail Hawksworth has become institutionalised after serving 28 years in prison for murdering a man.
The latest incident happened at Colne Valley Residential Home in Milnsbridge on July 4.
James Gelsthorpe, prosecuting, described 84-year-old Miss Rose as having severe dementia.
Mr Gelsthorpe said: “Her condition is described as being childlike and she was having a cup of tea. While holding her cup of tea she was tapping her teaspoon on her saucer.”
Magistrates heard that Hawksworth and other residents asked Miss Rose to stop doing this but she continued tapping.
Mr Gelsthorpe said: “The defendant got out of his seat and took hold of her left hand. With his free hand he tried to get the spoon away from her.”
A care assistant witnessed this and told him that such behaviour was not acceptable.
Hawksworth let go, handed over the spoon and said: “I’m sorry but she does my head in.”
There were no visible injuries caused to Miss Rose but the matter was reported to police.
The court heard that Hawksworth had a single conviction of murder on his record dating back to 1966.
He was released on licence in 1992 and is in residential care because he cannot cope living on his own.
Hawksworth has since been moved to Ashleigh Care Home in Primrose Hill and suffers from schizophrenia.
Bob Carr, mitigating, said that Miss Rose had no recollection of the offence.
He said: “One wonders how on earth this matter got to court, how it was reported to police in the first place.
“This must have happened a thousand times in every care home in every country in the world.
“I would have understood if he pulled her off a chair and kicked her but he removed a spoon from her hand.
“This is a complete waste of my time, the court’s time and public funding.”
Mr Carr added that the only reason his client wasn’t cautioned was because of his conviction almost 50 years ago.
He told magistrates that Hawksworth he had been terrified about the prospect of being recalled to prison.
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