Accused East Lancs nursing home employee was angry at theft

Susan Larkin

Susan Larkin

First published in News

A NURSING home employee who reported a colleague for allegedly putting a plastic bag over a dementia sufferer’s head had earlier told her co-worker she could have knocked her head off for taking some sunglasses, a jury was told.

Wendy Davis told Burnley Crown Court that suspicion had fallen on her after carer Susan Larkin took the glasses, belonging to a resident’s daughter, at the home in 2012. She claimed Larkin had let her ‘take the blame’ for the missing glasses for over 12 months.

The hearing has been told how Larkin’s fellow care worker Sahra Suleman claims she saw Larkin place a plastic bag, used for disposing of incontinence pads, over the head of Celia Handley as the pensioner sat on the toilet, at Peel Gardens, in Colne. The defendant is accused of stepping back, crossing her arms and laughing before removing the bag.

Sahra Suleman, who was said to have been so upset she broke down in tears, confided in Wendy Davis on April 1 last year, and Ms Davis wrote a letter to the home’s manager, dated April 5.

Larkin, 35, of Bouldsworth Road, Burnley, denies ill-treatment of a person who lacks capacity, between March 17 and March 26, last year.

The jury has been told the defendant claims the ill-treatment allegation is malicious and has been made by other home staff members because she stole the sunglasses and no action was taken by management. She accepts the theft.

Giving evidence, Wendy Davis said last April 3, after Larkin admitted taking the sunglasses, she asked her why she had done it and Larkin had told her it had only been meant as a joke.

Ms Davis said: “She was pretending to cry but there were no tears. I said ‘Don’t put the crocodile tears on’. She said she was sorry and ‘I have lost a really good friend, haven’t I?’ and I said yes. I said I would speak to her about work, but I didn’t want anything else to do with her.”

Asked by prosecutor Andrew Smith why she said that, she told the court: “We were all there to work. We were there to look after the residents, not to have a feud.”

Ms Davis added: “I did say I could have taken her outside and knocked her head off, but I did say ‘I’m not going to do that. You are not worth it’.”

Asked why she had delayed speaking to manager Malcolm Rowley about the ill-treatment allegation, Ms Davis said Sahra Suleman had been ‘really scared’ and she needed to make sure she was okay.

She continued: “We had to deal with this situation, but the right way. I was scared that nobody would believe us, because it’s an incident that is unusual.”

(Proceeding)

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