Live-in carer could face jail after assault on dementia sufferer, 90, from Ipswich

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A 56-year-old live-in carer who assaulted a 90-year-old dementia sufferer has been warned she could be given a custodial term when sentenced next month.

Dorothy Kerridge, 56, of West View, Kelsale, had denied three offences of assaulting Muriel Munro causing her actual bodily harm and was yesterday found guilty of two of the offences and not guilty of the third.

Adjourning sentence to May 11 for a pre-sentence report, Judge John Devaux told Kerridge, who has no previous convictions, the offences clearly crossed the custodial threshold. “You must reconcile yourself to the possibility of a custodial sentence,” said the judge.

During Kerridge’s week-long trial, Ipswich Crown Court heard that Mrs Munro, who has since died, told relatives she had been punched and slapped by Kerridge and described her as a “cruel lady.”

Mrs Munro was found to have bruises on her face, arms, ears and the soles of her feet while Kerridge was employed as her live-in carer between November 2012 and February 2013.

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Lori Tucker, prosecuting, said Mrs Munro, who had lived in Caithness Close, Ipswich, for 66 years, was diagnosed with dementia in the summer of 2012 and it was felt she needed a live-in carer after the death of her husband.

Kerridge started working as Mrs Munro’s live-in carer on November 4, 2012 and at first she seemed to be caring well for her.

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However, Mrs Munro had then told her son that she was being hit, slapped and punched and told one of her granddaughters that “Dot” had hit her with a walking stick.

She also said Kerridge was a “cruel lady” and that she was horrible to her when they were on their own and held up a clenched fist to her face to demonstrate what Kerridge had allegedly done to her.

Mrs Munro’s family became increasingly concerned after finding her glasses and false teeth were broken, said Miss Tucker.

Giving evidence during her trial Kerridge denied assaulting Mrs Munro after becoming fed up with her and losing her temper.

She claimed that Mrs Munro’s injuries were the result of falls when Mrs Munro got out of bed or out of her chair on her own.

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