Gloucestershire Careworker Is Cleared Of Attrack On Patient

A Care worker accused of hitting an 86-year-old woman in the face was cleared yesterday after medical experts agreed that her injuries could have been caused accidentally. Bozena Zelazowska, 34,of Parsonage Street, Dursley, was exonerated of blame on the second day of her Gloucester Crown Court trial and a jury formally found her not guilty.

The development came after an adjournment in the trial during which medical experts examined metal safety bars from frail pensioner Mrs Florence Ruck’s bed at the Stinchcombe Manor Nursing Home near Dursley.

At the start of the trial the prosecution claimed Ms Zelazowska had lost her temper with the pensioner in her room and struck her in the face as she lay in bed.

Mrs Ruck – who was helpless after a stroke- had to be rushed to hospital with a bleeding nose and facial bruising.

But they staged a reconstruction at court of the circumstances in which she was injured.

When the case resumed, prosecutor Paul Grumbar told the court “The bars in question were obtained from the nursing home today.

“There are two experts at court and they have had a chance to discuss the evidence with the bars in place outside the court here.

“Various people have been playing the role and being put in the position that Mrs Ruck would have been in had she fallen against the bar.

“The conclusion has been reached that it is possible that the two sites of injury on her face could have been caused had she fallen from her right side to her left against the bar, fracturing her nose.

“Given that new evidence from both the experts, we are agreed the Crown could not possibly invite you to convict this lady on the basis of a blow, when there is a clear possibility that the injury was caused by the victim falling against the bar.”

Instructing the jury to find Ms Zelazowska not guilty, Judge Martin Picton told them “The experts are very experienced and they are fully aware of the medication this lady was on, her age and her fragile nature.

“The matter had to be investigated because of natural concerns about people in care and the need to protect them.

“As accidental injury cannot be excluded in this case the right verdict is not guilty.”

He discharged Ms Zelazowska and granted her costs.