Castlebeck care worker alleged to have assaulted autistic man at Darlington residential home (From The Northern Echo)
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Castlebeck care worker alleged to have assaulted autistic man at Darlington residential home
A CARE worker assaulted a severely-autistic man at a residential home run by a scandal-hit company, a court heard today (March 14).
Steven Marley, 37, denies ill-treating the resident at Newbus Grange in Hurworth, near Darlington, on June 11 last year.
Mr Marley, from Shildon, County Durham, says he "parried" the man away when he ran at him in a corridor, and he fell to the floor.
The jury has heard how the resident's behaviour was "unpredictable and challenging" for staff at the Castlebeck-owned home.
He is said to have been in the habit of throwing himself to the floor, harming himself and injuring carers by lashing out.
The only worker said to have seen the alleged assault sobbed as she told the jury what she saw in a corridor near the lounge.
Selina Geldart, a laundry assistant, said she witnessed Mr Marley push the resident to the ground and kick him in the body.
She told the jury that the care worker yelled at the man, then dragged him to his feet and shoved him into the lounge.
"I just froze, I could not move," Mrs Geldart said. "Within seconds, he grabbed him back up and flung him through the door.
"He was telling him to shut up and get in . . . I was surprised nobody came, nobody heard it.
"I could see the carer come around and he commenced kicking him and screaming at him. I could hear the screams of the patient.
"He was laid flat down on the ground with his arms up. I saw the kicks - full blow kicks - probably four or five kicks."
Fighting back tears, she added: "When the kicks stopped, he just grabbed him, picked him up like a piece of rubbish.
"Then he pushed him through the doors, screaming at him to get in there and shut up . . . I witnessed a violent event.
"I just couldn't believe what was happening in front of my eyes . . . that's what shocked me the most - why it happened."
Mr Marley's barrister suggested that Mrs Geldart must have been mistaken about what she saw as she arrived for work at 7am.
Jonathan Walker, defending, said the resident ran at Mr Marley with his arms out, and ended up on the floor after lashing out.
Mrs Geldart replied: "No, I know what I saw . . . I am very aware of what I saw . . . there was no need for the physical violence."
The auxiliary - who has since left the home - said bosses were keen to clean up the image of the company after revelations of I'll-treatment.
She told how within days of starting work there last April, she was "positively encouraged" to report anything untoward.
She agreed with Mr Walker that Castlebeck was sensitive to press allegations of abuse, and asked staff to become "whistle-blowers".
Mr Marley, of Teesdale Walk, Shildon, County Durham, denies the ill-treatment of a person lacking capacity.