Lancaster care home abuse trial starts

Hillcroft Nursing Home, at Slyne.
Hillcroft Nursing Home, at Slyne.
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Three former Lancaster care home workers have gone on trial accused of abusing elderly and vulnerable residents.

They face a combined 11 charges allegedly committed at Hillcroft Nursing Home at Slyne, where they were employed as carers.

Katie Cairns, 27, of Riverview Court, Morecambe, faces four charges, including stamping on a resident’s foot, throwing balls and beanbags at others and mocking, flicking the nipples and touching another patient’s loose neck skin.

54-year old Carol Moore, of Ripon Avenue, Lancaster, is accused of six offences including slapping a resident and throwing beanbags and balls at residents.

And 28-year old Gemma Pearson, of Hill Street, Carnforth, is charged with one offence - tipping a patient out of his wheelchair.

The offences are alleged to have happened between May 2010 and Setember 2011 at a unit at the home for residents with challenging behaviour.

All the alleged victims have been diagnosed as suffering from dementia.

The defendants deny the charges.

Today, a jury at Preston Crown Court was told that the defendants’ former colleague, Darren Smith, 34, of Howgill Avenue, Lancaster, had pleaded guilty to ill-treating eight patients at the home.