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Carers cleared of pensioner neglect

Three women were found not guilty of neglect at Leeds Crown Court after an 87-year-old woman with Alzheimer's in their care suffered third degree burns.

Nurse, Andrea Garrick, 38, and care assistants Jodie Atkinson and Danielle Schofield, both 22, were all cleared of the neglect of pensioner, Violet Smith, who received burns after being placed on a commode of hot water.

Mrs Smith, a patient at the Charlton Centre for Alzheimer's and Dementia in Batley, West Yorkshire, was taken to hospital in January 2008 with burns to 4% of her body, after being placed on a commode in an attempt to treat constipation and haemorrhoids.

During the trial, Ms Atkinson told the court she had consulted Ms Garrick about the procedure and would never have put Mrs Smith on the commode if she thought it was unsafe.

She said: "I asked her if it was safe for her to be placed on the commode with water in it. She said it was safe because she had done the practice before."

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC ruled there was no case to answer and the case was discharged.

However, Mrs Smith's son Rodney said he would be "haunted" forever by the pain she suffered.

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