A CARE home boss has been jailed for eight months for failing to protect a 90-year-old dementia sufferer who climbed out of her bedroom window and fell to her death.
A judge said Matt Matharu had shown a “reckless disregard” for health and safety which led to the death of Norah Elliott after she plunged from a conservatory roof at Parkview care home in Seaton Carew in October 2012.
Matharu, 50, was found guilty of two breaches under the Health and Safety at Work Act following a trial at Teesside Crown Court at the end of last year.
Judge Michael Taylor said he was satisfied there was no chain on the window which Mrs Elliot, who had tried to leave the home twice earlier that night, climbed out of.
The trial heard it had been removed during a recent refurbishment and had not been replaced.
Mrs Elliott had moved into the home with her husband only a few days earlier.
In sentencing, Judge Taylor told Matharu, who also runs or is involved with several other homes in the Hartlepool area: “It is quite clear to me you had a reckless disregard here as to the issues of health and safety that applies in your premises.
“I’m satisfied that the gravity of this does require me to impose an immediate custodial sentence.
“It is no comfort to the family to say the only person who suffered a mishap is Mrs Elliott but many others would be at risk if this sort of behaviour were to continue.”
He added, Matharu, of Elwick Road, Hartlepool, had ignored previous health and safety warnings from Hartlepool Borough Council around the risks to residents from falling from windows.