Abergavenny care home boss was ‘cruel’ court hears

A CARE assistant was left “disgusted” by the “cruel” behaviour of her manager, who allegedly stood on a patients toes and picked him up by the scruff of the neck, a court heard yesterday.

Howard Griffiths, 53, of Wordsworth Close, Ebbw Vale, was night manager at Rozelle Care Home, Abergavenny, and is on trial at Newport Crown Court.

He denies ten charges of ill-treating a person without capacity, which relate to elderly people in his care, who were suffering from conditions, such as alzheimer’s, dementia and schizophrenia, between April 2007 and August 2009.

Care assistant Paulette Gough, described Griffiths as “aggressive to residents” saying his behaviour became worse over a three year period.

She said he stood on 85-year-old Derek Gregory’s toes as he sat in a chair, causing him to shout out.

Mrs Gough said, “He then picked him up by the scruff of the neck, with one hand and put him in a wheelchair.”

She said he did this a number of times, adding: “I was disgusted, it’s not right.”

Mrs Gough told him: “You can’t do that to people it’s cruel.”

She also told the court how Griffiths dragged 82-year-old Mary Baton out of the bottom of her bed by the ankles.

Mrs Gough said the usual procedure was to put cot sides down and ease patients out.

She didn’t make a complaint at the time as she said she was told by a manager: “You won’t be believed, your jobs are ten a penny.”

The home’s deputy manager Juliana Buckman told the court how Griffiths grabbed the back of 72-year-old Dorothy Holland’s skirt and lifted her in an effort to hurry her.

Mrs Buckman said: “It was very rough and he lifted her for about a metre with her feet not touching the ground.”

The home’s owner Florence Davies said Griffiths came highly recommended and was a hard worker who always volunteered for overtime.

Detective sergeant Andrew Brown read out Griffiths’ interview with police after he was arrested on September 22 last year.

Griffiths denied each charge that was put to him, saying “I’ve never grabbed anyone in 30 years of nursing” and “I’ve always been kind” to patients.

The Charges:

Count one: Derek Gregory, 85, senile dementia sufferer. Arrived at the home in April 2007.
Count two: Gladys Ruck, died March 2009, aged 90, senile dementia sufferer, arrived at the home in July 2007.
Count three: Pat Lewis, 61, chronic schizophrenia sufferer, arrived December 1999.
Count four: Dennis Bailey, 81, alzheimers, arrived January 2008.
Count five: Joanne Jones, 70, frontal lobe dementia, arrived February 2008.
Count six: Winnie Meredith, 93, vascular dementia, arrived June 2008.
Count seven: David Arteton, arrived June 2008 suffering from vasular dementia and died in March 2009 aged 79.
Count eight: Vera Knowles, 80, arrived in January 2008 suffering from alzheimers.
Count nine: Mark Baton, 82, arrived March 2003 suffering from alzheimers.
Count ten: Dorothy Holland, 72, arrived in May 2009 suffering from vascular dementia.