Three women have been jailed for a total of 15 months and two others handed community service orders by a UK court over their abusive actions towards a 94-year-old Indian-origin woman in their care at a home in north west London.
Harrow Crown Court found the women, many of whom are also of Indian-origin, had abused Paniben Shah while she was in their care at Meera House from March 2017.
Shah's family first thought her claims of staff abuse were a symptom of dementia but later were able to present proof to police via a hidden camera. The accused carers were caught on camera handling Shah roughly, verbally abusing her, threatening and hitting her as well as dripping scalding water on her in March 2018.
"We couldn't believe it. The home seemed so professional at first. It's horrible to think of the horrific cruelty my grandmother suffered at the hands of these women," Amit Shah told the Evening Standard newspaper.
"She was 94 when she went in there, but she was strong for her age. Then her health went downhill. She was a broken woman," he said.
Meera House is a specialist care home for people of Indian and South Asian origin in the Brent neighbourhood of London. After the family showed local Brent Council the videos in April last year, the home suspended the women caught on camera. Shah was moved and the family went on to give evidence to police.
In her ruling last week, Judge Lana Wood told the women found guilty: "You deprived Mrs Shah of the dignity and respect she was entitled to.
"She should have been treated with care and compassion. But she was treated without humanity and sometimes physically assaulted. There was a culture of accepting ill treatment."
Meera House said it is "shocked and devastated" by the events and acted immediately to suspend any member of staff that was implicated.
"We have subsequently worked closely with the police to assist in the prosecutions they have pursued. No member of staff involved in the incident remains at the home," a spokesperson said.
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