7:05am Thursday 26th June 2014
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.
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