Dundee care worker cleared of assaulting elderly woman in his care

A Dundee care worker has been acquitted of assaulting an elderly resident in his care.

Robert Myloff (43), Huntly Road, had denied assaulting Nora McDonald (84), pushing her and causing her to fall to the ground to her injury at Ballumbie Court care home on September 17.

The charge was found not proven by Sheriff Johnston at Dundee Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

He was also accused of assaulting Mary Percy (89), hitting her on the head with a tray at Ballumbie Court between August 17 and September 17, 2010, and that the offence was aggravated by prejudice relating to disability.

Mr Myloff was further accused of conducting himself in a disorderly manner, shouting and swearing aggressively at Joe McLeod (69), and Rita Dowie (89), and placing Donna Foley (38), and Wilma Hall in a state of alarm and committing a breach of the peace on the same occasion.

He denied both charges, which were dropped by the Crown after Sheriff Johnston ruled that information obtained by Southern Cross Healthcare during an investigatory interview with Mr Myloff was inadmissible.

Sheriff Johnston said: “In my view, the evidence is clear. The police had already been notified before the interview with Mr Myloff began, and he was not informed of this.

“He could not know his answers could be used in civil and criminal proceedings and that was unfair.”

Delivering her verdict, Sheriff Johnston added: “I have to determine whether I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt. I think you were trying to hurry her and certainly think you touched her. What resulted from that, however, I’m not certain of.”

The court had heard from Sylvia Nicoll (49), an area relief manager for Southern Cross Healthcare, who investigated concerns about the safety of vulnerable adults in Mr Myloff’s care.

Mrs Nicoll said: “I was made aware of allegations of abuse towards service users and telephoned the social work department, the Care Commission and police. I waited until I had confirmation from the police that I could conduct our own internal investigation.

“I then spoke to staff members that had given statements and then telephoned our legal team to get employment law advice.”

Mrs Nicoll was instructed to proceed, and an investigatory meeting was arranged for September 21.

She said: “I asked him about the incident and how he assisted Mrs McDonald and why she asked to be left alone. He said he was ushering her out of the dining room. To me that meant he was hurrying her and he said he did not have a dictionary with him.

“I asked if he had his arm around her back and he said he was trying to support her. I asked why he didn’t stop when she complained and he said he was trying to get her past the hot trolley for meals.

“I asked if he pushed her and he said: ‘I may have done’. I asked again and he said: ‘I must have done’.

“I asked him about the incident with Mary Percy that he hit her over the head with a tray and told her to shut up. He said he hit her over the head with a tray by accident but admitted telling her to shut up.”

The court also heard from Southern Cross Healthcare worker Shona Blair and Tayside Police constable Alan Shepherd.