A FORMER carer who slapped a 101-year-old woman in the face has been ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work, as a judge heard how she has now lost her career.
Angela Cruickshank was heard to say she hated the elderly woman after she slapped her on October 29, 2012, Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard.
Cruickshank, 44, of Cheviot Walk in Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, denied assaulting the woman but was found guilty after a trial.
Sentencing her yesterday (Wednesday, March 26), District Judge Martin Walker acknowledged the elderly woman could be difficult but said the other carers at the care home in Newton Aycliffe managed to control their temper with her.
He said: “Here we have a vulnerable victim in a vulnerable position and the perpetrator was in a position of trust and care.”
The court heard the woman died a few weeks after the assault but the district judge said there was no evidence the slap played any part in her death.
In a statement to the court read by prosecutor Tahira Bouchier, the victim’s niece said the slap had left the woman frightened.
The court heard that the woman was occasionally prone to violent outbursts and suffered from numerous physical and mental difficulties including struggling to eat.
John Turner representing Cruickshank, said home records showed the woman’s care did not change after the incident and medical records suggest the attack made no difference to her health.
He said: “This was an elderly lady of 101 who had a range of problems and was sadly approaching her demise.
“It was a challenging environment for Ms Cruickshank to be working in, which is not an excuse for what she did but merely to add some context.”
Mr Turner said his client had worked at the home for six years without a single blemish against her character, but since the assault she lost her job and will be unable to find work in the care industry.
District Judge Walker said: “This lady did present a challenge but everybody else was able to deal with that.
“On this occasion the defendant reacted both by words and a slap after there had been difficulties encountered in administering care to the lady.”
Cruickshank was also ordered to pay £300 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.