SA aged care worker jailed for assault

SA aged care worker jailed for assault


National News
Michael Mullen has been jailed over an assault on a resident of an aged care centre.

Michael Mullen has been jailed over an assault on a resident of an aged care centre.

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A former Adelaide aged care worker who bashed a nursing home resident has been jailed for at least nine months, with his victim's family branding him a "monst...

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A former Adelaide aged care worker who bashed a nursing home resident has been jailed for at least nine months, with his victim's family branding him a "monster" who refuses to apologise.

Relatives of Elizabeth Hannaford say they trusted Michael Mullen to care for the 72-year-old dementia patient, but he preyed on her vulnerability.

Mullen, 55, was found guilty of assaulting Ms Hannaford at Southern Cross Care's Lourdes Valley nursing home, at Myrtle Bank, in November 2015.

In sentencing, magistrate Paul Foley said Mullen became frustrated with Ms Hannaford after she repeatedly triggered an alarm by pulling on the cord leading to sensor mats around her bed.

"Eventually, you became so annoyed with her that you came into the room she shared with Meg Rogers and struck her in the face more than once," he said.

"There can be no excuse for you assaulting Ms Hannaford, who was in your care that morning and vulnerable."

Ms Hannaford was left with significant bruising and swelling to her face, and cried out in pain after the attack.

In victim impact statements read before sentencing, her daughter, Joanna Warde, said Ms Hannaford's health deteriorated after her ordeal.

She died three months later in hospital.

"Mum would never hurt anybody and definitely did not deserve the pain she went through due to your actions," Ms Warde said.

"She was helpless and she was fragile. You were supposed to care for her. You did the opposite."

Ms Warde said the family had never been offered an apology or seen any remorse from Mullen, who is now unemployed.

"In my mind, you will always be a monster," she said.

Mr Foley sentenced Mullen to 12 months behind bars with a non-parole period of nine months.

After the sentence, Ms Warde said she was glad Mullen had been jailed, although the sentence was "not that long".

She called for aged care providers to screen workers more thoroughly and investigate previous complaints against them.

"They didn't look after my mum like we paid them to do," she said.

Heath Barklay SC, for Mullen, immediately asked that his client be released on bail because he had appealed the verdict.

Mr Foley ordered a home detention report and remanded Mullen in custody to reappear before the court on Thursday.

Australian Associated Press

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