Leicester

Sisters Fatima and Munira Mawji fined over care home death

Harley House Nursing Home in Stoneygate, Leicester
Image caption The home is now under new ownership but the sisters still run three other homes in Leicestershire

Two sisters have been fined £50,000 each after an elderly resident died after falling out of a hoist at the nursing home they owned.

Annie Bradley, 78, died in 2008 from a head injury after being lifted from her bed at the Harley House Nursing Home in Stoneygate, Leicester.

Fatima Mawji, 45, and Munira Mawji, 44, from Scraptoft, were prosecuted for failing to ensure her safety.

The hoist was described in court as "totally defective".

In addition to the fines the sisters must pay costs of £20,000 each and a victim surcharge of £15.

Judge Robert Brown said there had been significant failings in the maintenance of the hoist and sling and insufficient training of staff.

'Avoidable death'

He said: "Both of the defendants lacked any expertise or sufficient expertise in healthcare and nursing.

Image caption The hoist was described in court as "beyond its sell-by date"

"The home was purchased as a financial investment in the hope of making money.

"Health and safety must always be the primary consideration of any owner of a care or nursing home," he said.

Miss Bradley, who was known as Vera and described to the court as vulnerable, elderly and immobile, fractured her skull when she fell from the hoist, hitting her head on the floor on 19 July 2008.

The former nurse died from her injuries in Leicester Royal Infirmary the next day.

The Health and Safety Executive brought the prosecution following the pensioner's death.

Prosecutor Jonathan Salmon told Leicester Crown Court the hoist was in such poor condition it could not be safely used.

It was "beyond its sell-by date" and the incident was "avoidable and clearly foreseeable", he said.

In mitigation, Mark Balysz QC, said that at the time of the incident the home was well-managed and run.

He described the sisters as hard-working women.

At a hearing at the court in March, the sisters, both mothers of three, admitted breaking health and safety laws.

A coroner recorded a narrative verdict into Miss Bradley's death last year.

Harley House Nursing Home is now under new ownership but the sisters still own three care homes in Leicestershire.

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