Nurse jailed for hitting elderly patients at Kentish Town care home

Ash Court Care Centre in Kentish Town. Picture: Polly Hancock

Ash Court Care Centre in Kentish Town. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A Filipino care home nurse who attacked four elderly dementia patients for soiling themselves has been jailed for 16 weeks.

Mary Cahiles, 46, assaulted the vulnerable residents at the Ash Court Care Centre in Ascham Street, between May and June last year.

Cahiles – a carer at the private care home – denied striking her patients, but was convicted at Highbury Magistrates’ Court last month.

Her conviction came two years after the same home, run by Highgate-based Forest Healthcare, was investigated after a Primrose Hill family secretly filmed staff assaulting their 80-year-old mother.

Their footage was the subject of a BBC Panorama documentary in 2012.

The court heard how last May, Cahiles wrestled with and slapped Michael McHugh when he became agitated as she tried to change his pyjamas and bedding in full view of another carer.

A few weeks later she also slapped Sydney Jackdeo’s hand when he struggled as she was changing his incontinence pad.

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She hit Sean McDonagh around the head with her open palm for soiling himself, and struck confused Violet Clarke on the arm for shouting.

Oliver Newman, for Cahiles, who qualified as a nurse in the Phillipines and had worked at Ash Court for seven years, said: “She’s been working five night shifts in a row, so it’s possible there was a degree of tiredness and fatigue building up.

Jailing Cahiles for 16 weeks, district judge Gillian Allison said: “As far as this matter is concerned... the offences are so serious that only a prison sentence is justified.

“Because you were a carer, trust was placed in you to deal with these elderly and vulnerable patients, many of whom were suffering from dementia, with patience and respect.

“You breached that trust by assaulting them when you were supposed to be caring for them..The offences are so serious that I cannot justify suspending this sentence.”

Cahiles, of Bishopric Court in Horsham, west Sussex, was convicted of four counts of common assault.