Kent

Margate carer 'regrets' dancing naked near disabled man

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Media captionJane Smith was one of four who lost their jobs after a whistleblower handed in video from a mobile phone

A former care worker has said she "deeply regrets" dancing naked around a severely disabled young man at a residential home.

Jane Smith was one of four who lost their jobs after a whistleblower handed in video from a mobile phone.

It showed an alcohol-fuelled party at Thanet Lodge boarding house, part of a trust which ran the Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate.

The man's mother said "it helps one of them realised what they did was wrong".

Image caption Jane Smith is seen dancing around the young disabled man

The video shows Ms Smith drinking, dancing and stripping in front of a young deaf and blind man who has serious learning difficulties.

It has been described by a charity as "humiliating" and "absolutely horrible".

'It will haunt me'

Ms Smith said she could not explain why she did it, but the evening "got out of hand" and she never meant any harm.

"It will haunt me for the rest of my life. I have had nightmares since [the video came out] and been a nervous wreck.

"I put my hands up totally to my actions. I have never lied, I have always told the truth. I am just deeply sorry," she said.

The man's mother, whose identity has not been revealed, welcomed the admission.

"It does help at least one of them has realised what they did was wrong, has owned up to it and apologised," she said.

Image caption Yvette Surrage, David Gardiner and Jane Smith were all sacked along with a fourth staff member Ben Healy who is not pictured

Three other staff seen in the footage, who were also sacked, gave statements to the BBC.

Kent Police saw the video but decided there was not enough evidence to investigate further.

Image caption The Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate was closed down on 11 December

The Royal School for Deaf Children and its post-16 department Westgate College closed in December after the John Townsend Trust went into administration.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said there had been "institutionalised failings and abuse" at the residential accommodation attached to Westgate College, which it ordered the trust to close down last November.

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