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Care Home Manager prosecuted for serious safety breaches

Published Monday, 11 November 2013

A care home manager who failed to call an ambulance for five days after a 99 year old woman fractured her leg has been given a six month suspended prison sentence and fined £3,000.

Shyla Reddy, 61, of 150 Arlington Road, Southgate, the manager of the Woodberry Grove Residential Care Home in Wellington Road, Bush Hill Park was sentenced on 6 November after pleading guilty on 22 October 2013 to breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Wood Green Crown Court.

She was also ordered to pay a contribution to the Enfield Council‘s costs of £3,000 and a £120 victim surcharge.

The court heard that 99 year old Lydia Riddler was lifted badly and possibly dropped on Wednesday 6 April 2011 at the Woodberry Grove Residential Care Home, managed by Reddy, fracturing Mrs Riddler’s leg.

However an ambulance was only called on Monday 11 April when Mrs Riddler’s daughter visited and noticed the injury and insisted one be called. The elderly woman’s care records were tampered with to cover up the crime and Reddy also told staff what they were to say to Police investigating the incident.

Mrs Riddler died 15 days later on 26 April without making a recovery from her injuries.

Mrs Riddler’s injuries were reported, starting an safeguarding adults enquiry by Police and Enfield Council which uncovered this state of affairs.

At no time during the enquiry or trial did Reddy show any remorse for her actions. Even after pleading guilty Reddy still tried to claim she knew nothing of Mrs Riddler’s injuries, nor the cover up.

She pleaded guilty on the limited grounds she accepted that she should have done more to find out how Mrs Riddler was when she found out a member of her staff may have caused the injury on 6 April. The prosecution did not accept her plea on this basis & eventually Reddy accepted the true level of her involvement in the crime.       

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “This crime showed a cowardly, evil and callous disregard for the safety of a vulnerable elderly person who must have been in excruciating pain as a result of the injury that she suffered.

“We expect employees of a care home to be trustworthy, reliable individuals who will treat their charges with dignity and consideration, not leave them abandoned and laying in agony for days without knowing when the urgent medical care they so badly needed would arrive.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services, Care and Health, Cllr Don McGowan, said: “We will not tolerate people who think it is appropriate to abuse the vulnerability of the sick and elderly and we will do everything we can to prosecute and bring these individuals to justice.”

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