TWO care assistants have pleaded guilty to verbally abusing and slapping a patient with severe brain damage at a specialist hospital.

Lynette Crook, 33, of Victoria Street, Ramsbottom, and Rita Page, 68, of Palatine Drive, Bury, admitted five counts of ill treatment of a person who lacks capacity.


The mistreatment occurred between August 28 and September 19 2012 at The Priory Highbank Centre, in Bury, where Page and Crook were healthcare assistants.

Both women have been dismissed for gross misconduct by bosses working at the centre, which specialises in acquired brain injury and neurological rehabilitation.

At Bolton Crown Court on Monday, Page pleaded guilty to slapping the man on his leg and using abusive language towards him.

Crook admitted slapping the patient’s leg, using abusive language and jabbing him in the head and body with a pen.

Seven other counts of using abusive language, pushing the man’s head and slapping his leg were held on file by Judge Timothy Clayson.

The court heard how during one incident, Page and Crook put a pillow between the man’s legs while he was being treated before slapping him on the leg and calling him an offensive term.

Michael Lavery, prosecuting, described how on September 19 Crook slapped the young man on the leg when she was about to give him a blood test.

Crook and Page originally pleaded not guilty and were due to stand trial on Monday but a last minute change of plea was entered on the day after discussions with the defence, Anthony Stephenson and John Close.

The case was adjourned until a pre-sentence report on May 2.

In his summing up, Judge Clayson said: “When you return in May, you can both expect to face a prison sentence.”

The man suffered severe internal injuries in a car crash in April 2008 and cannot move, speak or feed himself independently.

His family discovered his ill treatment after becoming suspicious and secretly installing surveillance cameras in his room, the footage from which they handed over to police.

A spokeswoman for Priory Highbank Hospital apologised for the ‘unacceptable actions’ of Crook and Page.

Malcolm Bower-Brown, CQC’s regional director for the North, said the case was ‘shocking’.

He added: “Our thoughts are with the victim of this dreadful abuse, and their family.

“Our most recent inspection in February 2014 found the home to be meeting the national standards reviewed. However, we continue to monitor the position carefully and will not hesitate take any regulatory action necessary to ensure residents receive the service they are entitled to expect.”