Care worker spat in the mouth of autistic boy

A 25-YEAR-OLD care worker was handed a suspended sentence after being found guilty of spitting in the mouth of a nursing home resident.

Samuel Porter, of Kimberley Road, Lowestoft, was looking after James Walding, who suffers from autism, when he told him to open his mouth and spat inside it at Decoy Farm nursing home in Browston, Great Yarmouth.

Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how Eve Elliston, who also works at the care home, witnessed the incident on Christmas Eve last year.

Porter pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault by beating, but was found guilty during a trial at the same court on July 25,

District Judge Philip Browning said: “Miss Elliston saw you spitting into the mouth of James Walding who is mildly illiterate and autistic. Could she have been mistaken or did she have a motive? I think not.

“I have taken into account your experience as a care worker and your denial, including your comment that it would have been ‘career suicide’ to commit the act.

“You are a person of good character. I have read a lot of references, all of which are positive. Many of the references said they could not believe you could have committed such an act. I can only assume you overstepped your authority on that occasion.”

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Rob Pollington, in mitigation, said Porter was a man who genuinely believed he did nothing wrong, but was willing to accept his punishment.

Decoy Farm nursing home is part of the Kingsley Healthcare group and provides accommodation, care and support for people with moderate to severe learning disabilities.

The home was opened in January 2009 and has eight beds divided between two buildings.

Decoy Farm manager Wendy Jack said: “As soon as we identified the incident we took immediate action and then passed the matter onto the relevant authority to make sure the appropriate steps were taken.

“We do not tolerate this type of behaviour in any of our care homes and we are pleased with the outcome.”

Porter received an 18-month suspended sentence of 18 weeks imprisonment and is required to complete 200 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of �300 and �250 of compensation.