UPDATED: Bury St Edmunds care home worker cleared of ill treating dementia patient
A worker at a Bury St Edmunds care home has today been cleared of ill treating an elderly dementia patient.
Costel Fusaru, 45, who is also known as Tony, was accused of bending back the 86-year-old woman’s hand and slapping her.
Ipswich Crown Court heard prosecution claims that the alleged incident took place during a night shift at North Court Care Home, Northgate Street, on August 2 last year.
It took a jury of eight men and four women just over three hours to find Fusaru not guilty.
After the verdict was announced, Judge Martyn Levett discharged Fusaru and told him that he was free to leave the court.
Giving evidence, Fusaru, of Greenways Crescent, Bury St Edmunds, told the jury that his only aim in working at North Court Care Home had been to help other people.
Denying the allegations made against him, Fusaru said: “I only tried to help people. I worked there for this purpose, to help.”
Speaking through a Romanian interpreter, Fusaru said he and a woman care assistant had been on duty looking after around 20 residents on the night of the alleged incident on August 2 last year.
Fusaru said that contrary to what the other member of staff, who had only been working at North Court for a month, said she had been present throughout while the patient was being changed.
Describing the dementia patient, Fusaru said: “She was difficult to deal with because she was moving all the time and she screamed whenever we tried to change her because she was so agitated.”
Fusaru said he had not been angry because, as it had been claimed by the prosecution, the woman had grabbed hold of his plastic apron and pulled away part of it.
He said that with his nine years of experience working in dementia and psychiatric hospital care he understood that it was normal behaviour for people with dementia, including his own grandmother who he had helped to care for.
The other carer working with Fusaru claimed that he had bent back the woman’s hand, and then while out of the room, had had heard him twice slap the elderly patient.
When interviewed by police, Fusaru said he had never slapped a patient and suggested that what the carer heard had been him removing his gloves.
Fusaru said the other carer, who had not reported her allegations until later the same day, had been acting ‘theatrically’.
Fusaru said he had nine years experience, both in Romania and the UK, of working with dementia patients and in a psychiatric hospital and that that before moving to Britain he had gained a psychology degree.