Chepstow carer had disabled man 'screaming in pain'

First published in News

A CARE home worker who assaulted “vulnerable” residents by bending their fingers back in front of her colleagues faces a custodial sentence.

Racquel Welch, 46, denied the attacks on three male residents at St Anne’s care home in Chepstow but was found guilty following a trial.

A court heard how one wheelchair user screamed in pain as she grabbed his hand and bent back his ring and little fingers towards his wrist then told him: “That’s what happens if you don’t behave”.

In a separate attack, another resident told Welsh: “You’re breaking my fingers” after she grabbed his hand and bent back his ring and little fingers in a similar manner, Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court heard.

She then scooped his legs and pushed him forcefully onto his bed, which caused him to hit his head, prosecutor James Lewis told the court.

During a separate incident, Welch assaulted a third resident while cleaning him in a bathroom.

That resident said to her: “You’re very strong, you’re very powerful”.

And she had replied: “Yes I am, don’t I know it.”

The court heard that residents at the home were “vulnerable” adults, some were elderly and others had dementia.

The senior care home worker claimed she had used restraints and self-defence against the residents, who had become agitated.

But magistrates rejected her version of events after hearing evidence from four of her colleagues and found her guilty of three common assaults by beating, which carry a maximum sentence of six months in prison.

The bench ordered an “all options open” report, meaning that Welsh could face custody.

Caerphilly magistrate, Gay Gwinnutt, told the court: “We find all the prosecution witnesses honest and credible.

“Ms Welch’s action were not necessary.

“We find her actions were deliberate and therefore find the case proven beyond reasonable doubt.

“We are going to ask for an all options open report.”

The court granted Welsh unconditional bail to be sentenced at Newport Magistrates’ Court on Friday, May 30.

Welch, of Wyndcliffe View, St Arvans, Monmouthshire, was dismissed from her position in the wake of the assaults at the care home in Welsh Street between August 1 and September 19 last year.

After the trial, care home owner Brian Hadley, 58, said he was pleased with the outcome.

He said: “We feel quite happy and vindicated.

“We have a no tolerance approach to abuse.

“A lot of work went on in the background to get to this stage.

“We do not feel that people like that should work in that care environment.”

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