VIDEO: Peterborough carer who didn't stop husband abusing bed-bound dementia sufferer given suspended sentence

A Peterborough carer who allowed her husband and colleague to physically and verbally abuse a bed-bound woman suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's has been given a suspended sentence.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 4:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th January 2017, 4:22 pm
Deborah Campbell arrives at court for sentencing following a psychiatric report., Deborah Campbell was sentenced to 28 months, suspended for 2 years and given a 120 hours unpaid work. Picture by Terry Harris. THA

Deborah Campbell (57) of Illston Place, Peterborough, worked with her husband, Maurice looking after the 85-year-old woman last year.

CCTV footage recorded by the victim’s family showed Maurice Campbell 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.

Maurice (56) was jailed for 28 months in November.

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Deborah appeared at Peterborough Crown Court today, where Judge Sean Enright was told a psychological report showed she had the mental age of a nine to twelve year old child.

Judge Enright said because of her mental capacity, she should never have been employed as a carer in the first place.

She was given a 38 week jail sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.

Bennedict Peers, prosecuting, told the court the crown’s case was that the abuse itself was all carried out by Maurice.

He said: “She was not involved in committing any actual assault. The crown’s case is she did nothing to stop what was happening, and did nothing to report it.”

Mr Peers said Deborah had no previous convictions recorded against her.

Charles Kellett, defending, said: “The psychological report shows she has a low general IQ, and a has the mental age of someone aged between nine and 12.”

The court was told she had a level three NVQ for caring - but needed one to one supervision to help pass the exams.

Mr Kellett said:” She is suggestible, and would seek to try and conceal her own short-comings - which are not of her own making.”

He added: “It is very tragic to reach the age she hs, as a very hard working, albeit limited lady, and to find herself in front of Your Honour.”

Judge Enright said: “This is a very serious case.

“Your role was failing to report or stop the behaviour of your co-defendant.
“He has a strong personality and you were bent to his will.

“You occupied a position of trust - it was not a position you were equipped for - you should not have been employed in this role.”

Both Maurice and Deborah Campbell pleaded guilty to one count of ill-treating and wilfully neglecting the woman at a hearing at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court last year.

Following their guilty pleas, 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.”