Lancaster care home abuse trial starts

Hillcroft Nursing Home, at Slyne.
Hillcroft Nursing Home, at Slyne.

Three former Lancaster care home workers have gone on trial accused of abusing elderly and vulnerable residents.

They face a combined 11 charges allegedly committed at Hillcroft Nursing Home at Slyne, where they were employed as carers.

Katie Cairns, 27, of Riverview Court, Morecambe, faces four charges, including stamping on a resident’s foot, throwing balls and beanbags at others and mocking, flicking the nipples and touching another patient’s loose neck skin.

54-year old Carol Moore, of Ripon Avenue, Lancaster, is accused of six offences including slapping a resident and throwing beanbags and balls at residents.

And 28-year old Gemma Pearson, of Hill Street, Carnforth, is charged with one offence - tipping a patient out of his wheelchair.

The offences are alleged to have happened between May 2010 and Setember 2011 at a unit at the home for residents with challenging behaviour.

All the alleged victims have been diagnosed as suffering from dementia.

The defendants deny the charges.

Today, a jury at Preston Crown Court was told that the defendants’ former colleague, Darren Smith, 34, of Howgill Avenue, Lancaster, had pleaded guilty to ill-treating eight patients at the home.