Nurse filmed assaulting dementia patient, 80, on daughter's secret camera

A nurse secretly filmed attacking an elderly Alzheimer’s sufferer in her care home bed was jailed yesterday.

Jonathan Aquino, 30, was caught when Jane Worroll suspected her mother Maria, 80, was being mistreated and hid a camera in her bedroom.

In the harrowing images, Aquino is seen to suddenly strike the retired school canteen manager in the face before slapping her arms repeatedly.

The Filipino, who has an 18 month-old daughter, then finishes the attack by hitting Mrs Worroll in her abdomen four times.

Sentencing Aquino to 18 months in jail, Judge Henry Blacksell QC told the nurse he was guilty of a ‘dreadful breach of trust’.

‘It is distressing for anybody to have to watch what’s contained on the footage,’ he said at Blackfriars Crown Court, central London.

‘This poor woman had been transferred to this institution in the hope that she should receive proper care and attention.

‘Quite rightly, society in general is extremely concerned about the treatment of the elderly and vulnerable in institutions such as this.

'They should be able to expect better, and I am afraid those who are caught misusing their responsibility should be held to account.’

The assaults took place at the Ash Court care home in Kentish Town, North London on June 21 last year.

Mrs Worroll, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008, had been living at the home since July 2010.

She has since been moved to another care home. After being told of the film’s existence, Aquino, who has no previous convictions, burst into tears and apologised. He was later sacked.

Brinder Soora, prosecuting, said it was clearly evident that the home’s own rules were frequently breached by its care staff.

‘Two care workers must be present when a resident is put to bed, and bathing and cleaning should be carried out by a female care worker,’ she said.

‘Again, that was not adhered to. This is not a complaint lodged at Mr Aquino’s feet – it was a problem that was clearly evident at the care home itself.’ Despite this, it emerged that the care home had been given an excellent rating by regulators in 2009.

Speaking outside court, Jane Worroll said: ‘Nobody as vulnerable as my mother should ever have to suffer or endure the unprovoked attack and mistreatment she has experienced at the hands of her supposed carers.

‘Had it not been for my actions, this abuse may never have been exposed, as I do not believe the existing safeguarding measures provide adequate protection.

‘The emotional impact this experience has had on me has been completely devastating. If this happened to my mother and was only discovered because of a hidden camera, what else is happening to other elderly people in care?

‘I believe the current care system for these people needs a complete review; we need robust strategies put in place to put an end to  this suffering.’

A spokesman for Ash Court said staff had been shocked by the case, adding: ‘We are pleased justice has been done.’

Aquino, of Tottenham, North London, admitted common assault and ill treatment of a vulnerable person.

Sourced from The Daily Mail, 13th April 2012.