Northern Ireland

Nursing assistant given suspended sentence for assault

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Media captionKaren Hayes, 54, dragged a sleeping patient off a sofa onto the floor for no apparent reason

A nursing assistant has been given a suspended prison sentence for assaulting a mentally-disabled woman she was meant to be caring for.

It happened in a unit at Muckamore Abbey Hospital near Antrim

An earlier court hearing heard that Karen Hayes, 54, dragged a sleeping patient off a sofa onto the floor for no apparent reason.

A defence lawyer told the court she had worked in a stressful environment dealing with patients.

They added the unit was under-staffed and under-resourced.

The district judge said Hayes, from Barra Street, Antrim, had been convicted of assaulting a vulnerable adult in completely unjustified circumstances.

She was given a two-month prison sentence suspended for two years.