Billingham care home worker accused of neglect

A CARE home worker has appeared in court accused of neglecting vulnerable elderly people.

Aurora Petre, 33, is charged with ill-treating or wilfully neglecting four female residents who lacked, or whom she reasonably believed to lack, mental capacity.

The alleged offences, contrary to Section 44 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, relate to four separate residents at Billingham Grange.

The home in High Grange Avenue, Billingham, provides support in a hospital environment for people with organic mental health needs.

The offences are said to have occurred on the same date, March 4 2008.

Petre, who is originally from Romania but lives in Corby, Northants, appeared at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

An interpreter was required for the short hearing before Judge John Walford. Stephen Constantine, representing Petre, invited the court to adjourn the case for four weeks.

The case is listed for a trial probably lasting two days, although it could run into a third day, the court heard.

Judge Walford said he was adjourning the matter until April 24 for further inquiries. Petre was granted bail.

According to the home’s website, Billingham Grange is one of only a few independent hospital services in the North-east that caters for people with young onset dementia and behaviour that challenges.

The home is registered with the Health Care Commission and patients are admitted on an informal or formal basis under the 1983 Mental Health Act.