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Brent carers jailed for neglect after putting ‘very vulnerable’ woman in scalding hot bath

PUBLISHED: 17:23 05 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:40 08 May 2017

The duo was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court today.               Picture: PA

The duo was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court today. Picture: PA

Archant

Two carers from Brent have been jailed for neglect after putting a woman with severe learning difficulties into a bath so hot it caused “terrible burns”.

Janet Ofem, 53, of Chandos Road in Willesden Green and Francis Shanique, 21, of Dagmar Avenue in Wembley were each sentenced to six months in prison today after being found guilty of neglecting a patient.

The victim – a “very vulnerable” 37-year-old woman staying at the Care Management Group home in Carlton Avenue, Harrow – was severely scalded after the ordeal in March last year.

Police said the woman, who cannot talk or walk, is among a group of patients considered “the most vulnerable in society”.

It began when the woman fell over and soiled herself after being left alone in a bathroom for a short while.

Shanique, who was looking after her, then called for Ofem to help put the patient in the bath using a hoist.

When the victim became very distressed, the duo initially thought it was because the straps on the hoist were fastened too tightly.

But when the patient was lifted out of the bath, it became clear she had been scalded by the hot water.

The care assistants reacted by calling an ambulance and pouring cold water over the burns.

The victim was then treated for her injuries at a hospital and later contracted pneumonia.

She has now been discharged from hospital and has recovered from her injuries and burns.

Det Sgt Amar Patel of Harrow CID said it was a “very sad case”.

“The victim is a very vulnerable lady who suffers from severe learning and physical difficulties and is unable to walk or talk,” he said after the sentencing at Harrow Crown Court.

“She was living in what should have been a place of safety. Instead she suffered terrible burns as a result of these two women failing to do the most basic of checks.

He added: “I hope that this result sends out a clear message that we take neglect in care homes extremely seriously.

“The residents of such establishments are amongst the most vulnerable in society and we will always seek to prosecute those who fail in their duty of care towards their clients.”

A spokesman for the Care Management Group said the service is committed to providing the “highest quality of care”.

“We greatly regret this isolated incident and we apologise unreservedly for any distress caused,” he said.

“We have the strongest and most robust procedures in place and, when inspected by the Care Quality Commission in June 2016, the service was rated ‘Good’ in all five areas including ‘Safe’.

“At the time of the incident we suspended the two support workers involved whilst internal and police investigations were carried out. As a result of our investigation, the two workers were dismissed and referred to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).”

He added: “This incident is out of step with everything that we stand for and actions like this will never be tolerated.”

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