Care workers accused of plotting before man’s death

PUBLISHED: 08:40 06 June 2011

Colin and Margaret  Lewis

Colin and Margaret Lewis

Margaret Lewis

CARE workers plotted to cover up an accident which lead to the death of a Weston man, a court heard.

Penlee Nursing Home resident Colin Lewis, who was bedridden and suffered from dementia, fell from his bed while his sheets were being changed.

Staff agreed to quickly put him back into bed and keep the incident quiet for fear they may get into trouble.

The 75-year-old Westonian, who used to run Artemus Ward photography business in the town, suffered a broken hip and toe which went undetected for eight days before he was admitted to Weston General Hospital.

Alfug Andom, of Starling Close, and Euphemia Ntintili, of Severn Avenue, pleaded not guilty to a joint charge of neglecting a person who lacked capacity, and their trial at Bristol Crown Court began on Wednesday.

On March 28, 2009 senior care assistant Andom, aged 38, and Polish junior care assistant Elwira Koziel, had been changing Mr Lewis’ bed while he was in it.

While this was being done he accidentally fell from his bed.

As the two workers picked him up, the senior registered nurse on duty, Ntintili, aged 54, walked into the room – and is accused of suggesting the cover-up

Prosecuting, Rupert Lowe, said: “This incident was unfortunate and should not have happened but it was an accident.

“This is not about the fall but is about what happened in the eight days after the fall.

“Ntintili suggested they must not tell anyone about what had happened, because they may get in trouble – in other words she said they had to cover it up.

“They agreed to say that he had simply banged his head on the side of the bed.

“Consequently this man, who was unable to tell anyone about what had happened, was left lying in a bed for eight days with a broken left hip and a broken left little toe.”

It was just over a week after the incident that another carer noticed one of Mr Lewis’ legs appeared ‘loose’, so he was admitted to Weston General Hospital, where the injuries were discovered.

After complications Mr Lewis died 12 days later on April 14.

When Miss Koziel heard he was in hospital, she told Andom, from Cameroon, and Ntintili, from South Africa, that she was going to tell the care home manager the truth.

Miss Koziel, who is now a key witness, admitted her role in the accident and was given a caution by police.

Andom and Ntintili say Mr Lewis did not fall out of bed and deny the claims about the agreement to cover it up.

They instead say Miss Koziel pulled away Mr Lewis’ pillow too quickly, causing him to hit his head.

The trial is expected to last for two weeks.

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