Guilty of Elderly Abuse - But No Jail

Workers were secretly filmed at the home after concerns raised

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Two women employed at Dormers Wells Lodge Care home in Southall have been found guilty of abusing elderly residents but have escaped jail sentences.

Pargash Sahota, 57, and Sonika Limbu, 26, were convicted at the same court at an earlier hearing. Kulwinder Ahir, 34, was acquitted of two counts with a third to remain on file.

The court heard that Dormers Wells Lodge is a privately owned 45 bed care home for the elderly, where the residents have varying levels of physical capability and/or a degree of dementia, from early stage to severe.

Police launched an investigation after another care worker at the home, Slawomira Kowalkowska, attended Southall police station in September to report abuse of residents by fellow care workers at the home. She worked at the home between May and September 2010.

Her responsibilities included personal care (washing, dressing & toileting) feeding and assisting with meals, and assisting residents get about the home if they struggled with mobility. When she started working at DWL she found the staff friendly and kind, but once she had settled
in she noticed that the treatment of the residents by some carers was rough and at times actually constituted an assault. She also noticed neglect and psychological abuse.

She provided police with approx. 60 video clips of the abuse which she had recorded on a hidden camera. She also provided commentary on each clip and provided details of incidents she had witnessed off camera.

The defendants were arrested in November 2010 for Ill-Treatment/Neglect of a Person Lacking Capacity at Southall Police Station and interviewed.

All three denied the allegations against them and were bailed pending further enquiries.

They were subsequently charged on Thursday, 7 July 2011 with a total of 10 offences.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Ryan, Metropolitan Police Ealing Borough, officer in charge of the investigation said: "The actions of these women was despicable. Vulnerable, elderly patients who were incapable of defending themselves were subjected to appalling abuse when
they should have been treated with care and compassion.

"I would like to commend the actions of Miss Kowalkowska for bringing this abuse to our attention. The MPS is committed to using our expertise and professionalism to bring cases such as this to court.

"I hope that these convictions and sentences will bring a degree of justice to the victims and their families."

Pargash Sahota, 57 (10/6/54) of Darwin Drive, Southall was charged with five offences under Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She was convicted of four counts. She was sentenced a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.

Sonika Limbu, 26 (24/12/85) of Webbs Road, Hayes, was charged with three offences under Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act. She was convicted of three counts. She was sentenced a 12-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work.

Ahir Kulwinder, 34 (3/01/78) of Twickenham was charged with three offences under Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act. She was acquitted of two counts with the third to remain on file.

9th March 2012

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