June 20 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Saturday, April 21, 2012
A Tottenham man secretly filmed slapping an elderly Alzheimer’s sufferer he was supposed to be caring for has been jailed for 18 months.
Jonathan Aquino, of Springfield Road, was caught on camera abusing 80-year-old Maria Worroll after her daughter Jane began to suspect her mother was being mistreated at her care home.
The harrowing images - captured just five days after the camera was secretly installed - show Aquino suddenly strike the retired school canteen manager in the face, slap her arms repeatedly then hit her four times in the abdomen.
The Filipino national, a registered nurse who has an 18-month-old daughter, burst into tears and apologised as soon as he was told of the film, but refused to answer detectives’ questions when interviewed.
Aquino later admitted common assault and ill treatment of a vulnerable person at Blackfriars Crown Court.
Sentencing, Judge Henry Blacksell told 30-year-old Aquino he was guilty of a “dreadful breach of trust” - adding the footage was distressing for anyone to watch.
“This poor woman had been transferred to this institution in the hope that she should receive proper care and attention,” he said.
“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.”
Brinder Soora, prosecuting, said during the trial it was “clearly evident” that the home’s own rules were frequently breached by its care staff - including ones which stated 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.
But a spokesman for Ash Court, in Kentish Town, said this was an “isolated incident”, adding they were pleased justice had been done.
“Although this was an isolated incident, it is a sad reminder than an individual is able to commit a criminal act even in the most professionally-run and highly regulated environment,” she said. “The staff team at Ash Court have provided many years of excellent care and were shocked by this truly unacceptable behaviour.”