VERDICT: Camborne care worker Fiona Salmon found guilty
CAMBORNE care home worker has been found guilty of ill-treating vulnerable patients today.
Fiona Salmon, aged 40, of Fore Street, was on trial for ill-treating or neglecting seven residents suffering from insufficient mental capacity at Cornwallis Care Services' nursing home based in St Ives.
She was said to have used physical and verbal violence on them between June 1, 2011, and January 25, 2012.
Following her three-day trial at Truro Crown Court, which started on Monday, the jury of nine women and three men found Salmon guilty on all seven counts.
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Judge John Neligan told Salmon to expect a custodial sentence.
Talking after the trial, Alan Gillan, the son of one of the victims, said: "I am pleased that it was a clear-cut verdict.
"At least I know that my mother recovered from that (ill-treatment) but for those whose loved ones died, they do not know what state they were in when this abuse took place.
"I am also happy about the changes made at the care home and therefore I am happy to leave my mother there."
Over the three-day trial the court heard how Salmon sat on a vulnerable patient's legs and sprayed deodorant in the face of a frail elderly resident.
Prosecutor Philip Lee, for the CPS, said other 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.
Salmon, who denies all seven charges, gave evidence at court yesterday.
She broke down in tears in the witness box as she told the jury: "I did not shout at the residents."
Salmon did however admit some responsibility for some of the incidents but claimed them all being accidents.
She was accused of spraying deodorant in the face of a frail female resident and also spraying deodorant on the bold head of a male patient.
She said: "One morning about 7.30am after washing a patient we (Salmon and another health care assistant) were laughing about something and I must have accidentally sprayed deodorant on his bold head and not under his arm.
"But I did not do it on purpose, I was distracted and I accept it was an accident. I was not paying attention to what I was doing and when I got home I realised I had done wrong."
Salmon also admitted being a 'stockier' person and having more strength than her fellow care assistants.
She insisted apologising to patients if she, for example, moved them too quickly.
But Salmon decisively denied using foul language, telling a patient that her breath stank of dog mess and making other comments of sexual nature in front of residents. She said: "Those comments are just sick and I never used those words."
She also told the court she liked the residents and got on well with staff.
Salmon said she did not know why she was accused of ill-treating patients and said the claims started shortly after she had been offered day shifts.