Camborne care worker Fiona Salmon in court over ill-treating vulnerable adults in St Ives
A CARE home worker sat on a vulnerable patient's legs and sprayed deodorant in the face of a frail elderly resident, Truro Crown Court heard.
Fiona Salmon, 40, has denied seven charges of ill-treating or neglecting residents suffering from insufficient mental capacity.
The alleged incidents happened at Cornwallis Care Services' nursing home in St Ives between June 1, 2011, and January 25, 2012.
On Monday, the trial heard healthcare assistant Salmon, of Fore Street in Camborne, had used physical violence and verbally abused seven extremely frail and vulnerable residents. Five have since died.
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Prosecutor Philip Lee, for the CPS, said the offences varied from pinching, slapping and rough handling, to calling elderly residents names such as a "dirty b***h" and telling them their breath stank of dog mess.
Most of the incidents were witnessed by fellow healthcare assistant Joanna Clarke, who was 20 when she started working night shifts with Salmon.
She told the court: "One morning Fiona washed a resident's face with a flannel so hard that it caused a nosebleed.
"I also saw her squeezing talcum powder into a woman's face and she called her a grubby b***h.
"While helping another patient she flung her on her bed so hard she hit her head on a metal railing, making her cry.
"She also pinched a patient's upper arm and sprayed deodorant in her face.
"Her behaviour was humiliating and there was no compassion. She spoke to them disrespectfully; as if they were not worth anything and as if they were an inconvenience."
Miss Clarke said she was afraid to tell anyone because she did not think she would be believed.
She eventually told a friend's mother, who reported it to the police.
The court also heard from fellow assistant Stephanie Fielding.
Miss Fielding, who was also 20 when she started working at the home, told the court how Salmon dug her nails into a patient's skin.
Speaking from behind a screen, she said: "Afterwards the lady shouted at her. I then cleaned the blood and comforted her.
"One night we were putting a patient on her bed but she did not want to stay. Fiona decided to sit on her legs to force her. She cried out and shouted at Fiona to get off as she was hurting her but she just laughed and carried on for a couple of minutes until I told her to get off.
"Fiona also swore and told a patient her breath smelt like dog mess. The patient said she was sorry."
Nurse Susan Gilpin also gave evidence and care worker Sylvia Kaur said Salmon was hardworking but impatient and lacked tolerance and empathy.
Defence counsel Joanna Martin argued Miss Clarke was jealous of Salmon because she had been offered day shifts.
She also said Miss Fielding instigated the accusations because she fell out with Salmon over a personal matter.
The trial continues.