Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham care worker sprayed aerosol can in woman's face

Susan Draper outside court
Image caption Susan Draper cried throughout the hearing at the city's magistrates' court.

A care worker who sprayed an aerosol can into a 77-year-old woman's face has been convicted of ill-treating her.

Susan Draper, 43, who worked at Perry Locks Care Home, Birmingham, was covertly filmed saying the body spray smelt " better than poo".

Draper of Cranehouse Road, Kingstanding, is the second care worker convicted of ill-treating Betty Boylan after her family fitted a camera.

Draper had denied the charge but was found guilty by Birmingham magistrates.

She was granted unconditional bail until sentencing on 24 July.

Draper told the court she had wanted Mrs Boylan to smell nice and "would not hurt any resident".

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Magistrates were told Draper was dismissed from the Bupa-run home.

Image caption Betty Boylan, who is now being cared for at home, was in court

In the footage shown in court, Mrs Boylan, who has dementia, can be heard saying "stop it" when the spray is used after she was placed in a chair. The prosecution alleged she could be seen "to gurgle".

The day-long trial on Monday heard she had been "dehumanised" by Draper. The carer told investigators she had made a "stupid mistake" and lost her job at the home where she worked for 17 years.

Prosecutor Sean Williams said the retired nurse's family had placed the camera in her room amid concerns about her treatment and apparent bruising.

Magistrates convicted Draper of ill-treating a dependent person in her care on the basis she had been reckless and had used the spray and a hoist inappropriately.

Image caption Lisa Thompson said her grandmother's treatment had been "disgusting".

After the hearing, Mrs Boylan's grand-daughter Lisa Thompson said: "The majority or people that are in care now have fought all their lives for us and then they get treated the way they are being treated - it's disgusting."

Director of quality for Bupa Care Services Vivienne Birch said: "This behaviour is totally unacceptable. We immediately suspended her in September 2016 and shortly afterwards she was formally dismissed. We were shocked and saddened by the footage.

"We're deeply sorry this happened and for the distress it has caused Mrs Boylan's family. We're proud of the care our staff provide and do not tolerate behaviour like this at any of our homes."

In February, Bina Begum, 49, of Perry Barr, was given a 12-month community order after admitting ill-treating and neglecting Mrs Boylan.

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