Care worker cleared of ill-treatment

Vikki Unsworth

Vikki Unsworth

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A CARE home worker walked free from court after being cleared of mistreating vulnerable residents and declared: “I’ve always been innocent”.

Vikki Unsworth, 39, was acquitted of manhandling and making nasty comments towards disabled residents at Ridgeway House Care Home in Station Town after a three-day trial at Teesside Crown Court.

Ridgeway House, Wingate

Ridgeway House, Wingate

She was accused of verbally and physically abusing eight vulnerable residents in her care.

It had been claimed that she said a resident with Down’s Syndrome “should have been shot at birth.”

She was also accused of saying an autistic man “wanted standing in a corner and hosing down” and of calling other residents “ugly” and “fat,” and swearing at them.

Unsworth was also alleged to have likened another resident to the children’s toy Mr Potato Head after yanking his ears, causing him to shout out in pain.

It was also claimed that she changed an incontinent patient against procedure like a baby by lifting his legs in the air.

But Unsworth said it would have been impossible due to the man’s size.

The jury of six men and six women took just one hour and 50 minutes to unanimously find her not guilty of all charges.

A delighted Unsworth hugged and kissed her legal team after the verdict was announced.

Approached by the Mail, she said: “I’m innocent, and I’ve always been innocent.”

The trial heard how Unsworth had done many kind things for many of the residents she was accused of ill-treating including taking one to her mum’s house for Christmas dinner, taking another a bagful of videos and taking another out for dog walks and fish suppers.

She also volunteered to take one resident, who the prosecution claimed was scared of her, to hospital after working a night shift.

Unsworth, of Cummings’ Square, Wingate, was found not guilty of six counts of ill-treatment or neglect of a person and two charges of ill-treatment of a mentally disorientated patient between March 2006 and January 2009.