Aged care worker Anita Prajapati has been found guilty of assault in the Manly local Court after allegedly slapping and stuffing a wet wipe into the mouth of an elderly resident living with dementia in a bid to silence her.
The assault occurred at the RSL LifeCare “War Vets” home in Narrabeen last year and was witnessed by a co-worker who reported the incident to management who then contacted local police.
According to the witness, the accused slapped the female resident who was in her 80s and living with dementia after she screamed out while being transported from a chair to her bed and then stuffed wet wipes in her mouth after the victim attempted to scream out again as the pair tried to undress her and change her clothes.
Prajapati denied the allegations, claiming that they had been made up by her colleague as a result of animosity between her and her co-worker, and Prajapati’s defence lawyer argued that these allegations were made out of spite due to the accused criticising her co-workers standard of work.
Prajapati plead not guilty to the charge and claimed that she had actually been wiping food from the resident’s mouth before asking the resident how she was feeling and then turning the television on for her before leaving the room.
While handing out judgement, Magistrate Michelle Goodwin said that she was satisfied that there was enough evidence to convict Prajapati of the assault, despite the fact that there may have been friction between the accused and her co-worker, but the Magistrate did note that she felt Prajapati to be of “good character.”
Prajapati will be sentenced in October.