Aged Care Worker In Adelaide's East GUILTY Of Assault
Michael Mullen was employed to care for elderly residents at an Adelaide nursing home but instead bashed one, leaving her injured and crying out in pain.
The 55-year-old was on Wednesday found guilty of the aggravated assault of Elizabeth Hannaford, 72, in November 2015.
The attack took place while Mullen was working a night shift at Southern Cross Care's Lourdes Valley nursing home at Myrtle Bank.
The court heard Mullen became angry after Ms Hannaford repeatedly pulled the cords to sensor mats around her bed.
Her roommate, Meg Rogers, said Mullen came into their room and said words to the effect of "there'll be consequences if you continue this behaviour" and "you are doing my bloody head in".
Ms Rogers, in a statement before her death, said she heard Mullen's punches and Ms Hannaford saying 'no' in a "pained and wounded" voice.
In a police interview, Mullen denied the assault and suggested Ms Hannaford may have rolled over and hit herself on a cabinet beside the bed.
However, magistrate Paul Foley found Mullen had punched her in the face "more than once", leaving her with extensive bruising.
He said Mullen was in a position of trust in his role as a carer and knew of Ms Hannaford's condition.
"He was aware that (Ms Hannaford) was in a position of particular vulnerability because of both physical and mental disability," he said on Wednesday.
Ms Hannaford died several months after the attack, but her family are calling for measures to be put in place to ensure other residents are not harmed.
Outside Adelaide Magistrates Court, her daughter, Joanna Warde, said her mother had suffered because of Mullen's actions.
"She was such a lovely, caring person and she did not deserve what he did to her," she told reporters.
"I just hope this never, ever, ever happens to another person again.
"It's been quite traumatic and a really terrible way to lose your mum."
Ms Hannaford's ex-husband and carer, David Binns, called for better screening processes for aged care workers.
"I think that the aged care management need to be more careful about the selecting of carers, perhaps carers need to be trained more about dementia," he said.
Mullen was remanded on continuing bail to face court again in April.