Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

March 9, 2016

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80-year-old was ‘found dead under wardrobe’, court hears

A jury has heard how an 80-year-old who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease was exposed to “significant risk” at the care home in which she was staying, after she was found dead under a wardrobe that had fallen onto her.

Derby Crown Court heard that Thomasina Bennett, from Belper, was temporarily staying at Milford House Care Home in Derbyshire while her daughter was on holiday.

Mrs Bennett was discovered by a carer early one morning in April 2012. She was later confirmed dead by a nurse.

Milford House Partnership has denied two health and safety at work charges.

Jonathan Owen, prosecuting for Amber Valley Borough Council, told the jury: “Only a small proportion of Mrs Bennett’s weight was needed to pull over the wardrobe and [this] exposed Mrs Bennett to significant risk to her health and safety.”

He added that a sufficient assessment would have concluded the wardrobe was not safe and should have been fastened to the wall.

Mr Owen also said the personal activity monitors used in the home posed a risk to health and safety as staff could only react to one at a time.

Judge Jonathan Bennett told the jury: “You are not here to decide if the defendant caused or did not cause the accident; it’s all about the risk to safety.”

The case is expected to last about two weeks.

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