Advising with empathy and experience

Court hears of scalding injuries to 99-year-old.

A 99-year-old care home resident with dementia was put in a scalding hot bath because her female care assistant was in a "bad mood", a court has heard.

The resident, Margaret Wheatley, one of three men and five women, is said to have been ill-treated and neglected while at the former Briarwood Rest Home, Lostock Hall, Preston.

Prosecutor, Francis McEntee said: "The evidence will reveal the ill-treatment and wilful neglect of the elderly and vulnerable by those specifically entrusted with their care."

Mr McEntee said care assistant, Niphawan Berry, 42, ran a bath which a colleague tested and found too hot to even put her hand in. She then warned Berry who was in a bad mood.

Jurors heard that when Berry, 42, had earlier been told that it was time to prepare the bath, she had tutted and said 'for f***'s sake'.

Ms Wheatley's injuries were brought to the attention of care homeowner Indrannee Pumbien, 59. She later suggested to the patient's GP the burns were connected with the slippers Ms Wheatley wore.

Mr McEntee said: "When it was suggested that it appeared that a bucket of hot water had been thrown at Mrs Wheatley, Indrannee Pumbien said that the injuries looked like cellulitis. This explanation was adopted to divert attention from conditions and practices at the rest home."

However a burns treatment expert said that the extensive injuries to Mrs Wheatley's legs and feet were consistent with contact with hot water of between 46C and 50C for up to five minutes.

Jurors at Preston Crown Court heard that Indrannee Pumbien was described as "a bully" both with residents and staff who were afraid to challenge her behaviour. She had force-fed six pensioners, referred to one as "an animal" and been at the helm of a regime that was short of staff and equipment.

Indrannee Pumbien and husband and co-owner Meghadeven, 64, deny two counts of neglect and one of ill-treatment. Indrannee Pumbien faces 12 additional ill treatment charges. Berry faces one charge of grievous bodily harm and two  of ill-treatment.

All three deny the offences said to have been committed between April 2013 and June 2014.

The trial continues