Peterborough detective recalls “the most shocking abuse of an elderly and vulnerable victim that I have come across” as duo plead guilty

Deborah Campbell leaves court after pleading guilty. 
Picture by Terry Harris. THA

Deborah Campbell leaves court after pleading guilty. Picture by Terry Harris. THA

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A senior police officer has described “the most shocking abuse of an elderly and vulnerable victim that I have come across in my career” after two Peterborough care workers pleaded guilty to charges at magistrates’ court today.

Married couple Maurice, 56, and Deborah Campbell, 57, both of Illston Place, Peterborough, this morning, Wednesday, both pleaded guilty to ill-treating and wilfully neglecting an 85-year-old woman at her Peterborough home between March 30 and May 10 this year.

Maurice Campbell arrives at Peterborough Magistrates' Court this morning

Maurice Campbell arrives at Peterborough Magistrates' Court this morning

The couple were caught after the woman’s family set up a CCTV camera in her room.

This afternoon, Detective Sergeant Mark Little, who investigated, said: “This case involved some of the most shocking abuse of an elderly and vulnerable victim that I have come across in my career.

“Due to her dementia, the victim struggles to communicate and could not provide a witness statement so without the CCTV in her bedroom, no one would have been any the wiser to the abuse she was receiving.”

The footage showed them both verbally abusing the 85 year old, who suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Mr Campbell was seen twisting her wrist and fingers, putting his body weight on her stomach as she tried to drink and forcefully ramming an object into her mouth in an effort to make her take tablets.

The court also heard he had also slapped her across the head.

Mrs Campbell witnessed the physical abuse by her husband but did not intervene.

The court heard the victim was bed bound and required regular visits from carers.

Initially, there were no concerns over the care provided by the Campbells, however, when they went on holiday in March this year, the victim’s family installed CCTV cameras in her bedroom because they were worried about how she would react to stand-in carers.

When the Campbells returned, the camera was left on but it was not until May when the victim’s daughter noticed food splashed on the radiator, bed headboard and the bottom of the bed that she became suspicious and the CCTV was checked.

Both defendants were given bail until their sentencing at Peterborough Crown Court on a date to be fixed.