Charity slams care home assault sentence

Free Press Series: CARE HOME ASSAULTS: Racquel Welch CARE HOME ASSAULTS: Racquel Welch

A CHARITY has slammed a sentence given to a Monmouthshire former care home worker who was found guilty of assaulting three men in her care, calling it “overly lenient”.

On Friday, Racquel Welch, 46, was given a suspended sentence at Newport Magistrates’ Court after she committed a “gross breach of trust” at a care home in Chepstow, between August and September last year.

She had denied three charges of assault by beating against three men at St Anne’s care home but was found guilty following a trial in May.

The chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse, Gary FitzGerald, said: “There is no point in criminalising acts of abuse if the consequences are so light as to be ineffectual. This not only sends a message to abusers that they can get away with it, but it undermines the fantastic work and commitment of thousands of other care staff.”

Welch, of Wyndcliffe View, St Arvans, was given two concurrent sentences of 26 weeks for two of the attacks and 18 weeks for the third. They were suspended for 12 months.

In one assault, she was said to have thrown a man on a bed so hard that his head had struck it. In another she bent another man’s fingers towards his wrist so far that he screamed in pain. She denied all the charges but was found guilty after a trial.

But the assaults only came to light because Welch’s colleagues witnessed and reported them to their manager. They told police what they had seen Welch do was “abuse” and “completely uncalled for and unnecessary behaviour”.

Two of the men assaulted are unfit to make a complaint while the third man did not wish to pursue any further action against Welch.

Sentencing her last week, the chairwoman of the bench Gillian Rogers told Welch she had committed a “gross breach of trust” and that only her previous good work in care homes over 14 years and good character had prevented her being given an immediate custodial sentence.

Comments (4)

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8:57am Thu 26 Jun 14

taffygwent says...

Makes whistleblowers think twice about reporting someone when courts are allowing such leniency.
Makes whistleblowers think twice about reporting someone when courts are allowing such leniency. taffygwent
  • Score: 4

9:34am Thu 26 Jun 14

Evil Flanker says...

Truely disgusting also disturbing. You can jusdge a society on how it treats the elderly and disabled, this speaks buckets!

Make me ashamed to be British!
Truely disgusting also disturbing. You can jusdge a society on how it treats the elderly and disabled, this speaks buckets! Make me ashamed to be British! Evil Flanker
  • Score: 4

1:32pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

The seemingly ambivalent, evidently tolerant attitude towards elder abuse prevalent today kind of reminds me of the sort of culture we had during the heyday of Savile's now notorious abuse of hundreds of vulnerable, institutionalised children. Fact is that many elderly people become childlike, physically and mentally weak and just as vulnerable as little toddlers at the end of their days - particularly if they suffer from late stage dementias. Now would the "chairwoman of the bench" care to invite a much bigger member of the court to come up and bend her fingers back so that she can conclude that this is not serious enough to count as abuse, but instead a mere "breach of trust"...?!
The seemingly ambivalent, evidently tolerant attitude towards elder abuse prevalent today kind of reminds me of the sort of culture we had during the heyday of Savile's now notorious abuse of hundreds of vulnerable, institutionalised children. Fact is that many elderly people become childlike, physically and mentally weak and just as vulnerable as little toddlers at the end of their days - particularly if they suffer from late stage dementias. Now would the "chairwoman of the bench" care to invite a much bigger member of the court to come up and bend her fingers back so that she can conclude that this is not serious enough to count as abuse, but instead a mere "breach of trust"...?! Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 3

4:31pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Llanmartinangel says...

'only her previous good work in care homes over 14 years'

Or: no-one actually saw what she was really doing until now. How on earth can our judiciary be so bl**dy naive?
'only her previous good work in care homes over 14 years' Or: no-one actually saw what she was really doing until now. How on earth can our judiciary be so bl**dy naive? Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 2

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