A CARER who abused and tormented an elderly care home resident in her final weeks of life has been spared jail.
Valentina Baghiu, from Appleton, filmed herself poking the 84-year-old dementia sufferer with a broom and shouting at her to stay awake on one occasion.
In another video, the 24-year-old laughed and taunted her frail victim and again poked the woman – leading to her ‘becoming very distressed’.
She could be heard in the mobile phone clip saying ‘get off me’ and ‘I hate it, leave me alone’, and attempted to move away – but the member of staff grabbed her by the wrist and roughly pulled her back down into her seat.
Baghiu was then seen showing the pensioner a clenched fist after she cried out in pain.
Both incidents occurred while the defendant, of Warren Road, was working at Birch Tree Manor Nursing Home on the Wirral in 2019.
She was arrested in December that year and suspended from her job.
The victim had died the previous month from an unrelated cause, having been receiving 24-hour one-to-one care before she passed away.
Her daughter told police that her mum had claimed towards the end of her life that a care home worker had grabbed, pushed, punched and shouted at her – but believed that this was a false allegation due to her condition.
In a statement read out to the court, she said: “My mother was a social worker, so spent her life looking after vulnerable people.
“To then find out that when she was at her most vulnerable she was taken advantage of is sickening.
“My mother had one-to-one care which mistakenly made the family presume she was very safe, well looked after and most importantly happy.
“Instead, now we must contend with the fact that her final weeks were full of misery, fear and trauma.”
A Romanian translator identified some of the comments made by Baghiu during the videos, which included ‘you’re going to get what’s coming to you’, ‘watch out, you’ll see what a good plucking you’re going to get tonight’ and ‘I’ll mess you up like nothing else’.
She admitted ill treatment of an individual by a care worker and was given a six-month imprisonment suspended for 18 months at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, April 7.
Associate prosecutor Alan Currums, of the Crown Prosecution Service Mersey Cheshire, said: “This is an incredibly sad case.
“The victim’s family had planned their mother’s funeral but were then told it had to be delayed because of what had emerged about Baghiu – they couldn’t talk to anyone about this as a criminal investigation was under way.
“They had thought their mother was safe, but she had become the victim of a heartless and callous bully who filmed the assaults on their mother because she thought they were funny.
“Most carers, including the staff at this home, care for the residents compassionately and competently despite the challenges presented by patients with dementia.
“The good work of the vast majority of carers should not be forgotten when the actions of people like Valentina Baghiu come to light.
“They are the bad apples in an area of care that is often the scene of great kindness and professionalism.”
Bagiu was also told to complete 75 hours of unpaid work, handed a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 15 days and told to pay a £122 victim surcharge.