Care workers were caught abusing an elderly woman with dementia after her granddaughters installed a camera in her bedroom.
Four carers were found guilty of ill-treatment and wilful neglect thanks to footage collected by sisters Danielle and Rebecca Hinsley, who installed the camera in Beryl Wall’s Wolverhampton care home.
They had become suspicious after noting that Mrs Wall’s behaviour had changed and she had bruises on her body.
The sisters complained to staff at the care home in February 2020 and bought a Yi Eye Wifi camera, costing £120 and disguised as a photo frame, after they were dissatisfied with the response.
The camera records footage through motion detection, which it sends straight to the owner’s phone. It is similar to the “nanny cam” used in a Netflix drama Fool Me Once, starring Michelle Keegan.
The footage, captured over four days, shows workers mocking the pensioner and aggressively holding her legs in the air.
In one clip, one of the carers can be seen forcibly grabbing and taunting Mrs Wall before hitting her over the head with a pillow.
Another shows staff calling her “disgusting” and pinning her down while they try to clean and dress her.
The Hinsley sisters took their evidence to the care home managers, the Care Quality Commission and West Midlands Police.
Carers Ame Tunkara, 33, Morounranti Adefila, 43, Danny Ohen, 39, and Bridget Aideyan, 49, were found guilty and jailed for a total of 18 months at Wolverhampton Crown Court at the end of 2023.
Mrs Walls had been suffering from dementia since 2015 and was admitted to the care home in April 2019. She died on Oct 6, aged 92.
Danielle Hinsley, a mother of five from Wolverhampton, said the abuse started in February 2020.
She said: “[Mrs Wall] started hitting me and my sister. She was whacking us and screaming at us, telling us to get out.
“She had bruises on her elbows, face, head and wrists. That was what was visible to us, there was a lot more over her body we couldn’t see.
“We called the management straight in and they just asked us to email the pictures. It wasn’t good enough so we went out and ordered the camera straight away.
“We knew somebody was hurting her. The bruises on the wrist weren’t alarming, but we knew something was up from the bruises on the face.
“They were above her chin and eyebrow. We were angry more than anything.
“The camera came the next day…We left it a couple of days and when we brought it home what we saw was just horrific. It broke our hearts.”
She said the worst abuse came from Ohen, whom she saw mocking Mrs Wall’s speech and pinching her face.
Tunkara and Adefila, of Walsall, West Midlands, were found guilty in May and jailed for four months each on Dec 8.
Ohen and Aideyan, of Wolverhampton, were convicted in September and jailed for six and four months respectively on Nov 14.
Three of the four workers were from an agency and one was a permanent member of staff. The family does not want to name the care home, which is under new management.
Det Con Kathryn Sargent, from West Midlands Police, said: “This elderly woman…should not have spent any of her remaining years suffering such ill-treatment.
On sentencing, Judge Rhona Campbell described the footage as “chilling”. “I hope the lady’s family are content that justice has been served.”