Guilty verdict on cover-up care workers

PUBLISHED: 11:12 17 June 2011

Colin Lewis

Colin Lewis

Margaret Lewis

CARE workers who plotted to cover up an accident which led to the death of a Weston man have been found guilty of neglect.

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

Prosecutors said 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 in the incident at the Uphill Road North home. His injuries went undetected for eight days, before he was admitted to Weston General Hospital.

Alfug Andom, of Starling Close, Worle, and Euphemia Ntintili, of Severn Avenue, Weston, pleaded not guilty to a joint charge of neglecting a person who lacked capacity, but yesterday (Thurs), after a two week trial at Bristol Crown Court they were found guilty.

Mr Lewis’ wife Margaret, who visited him daily while he was in the home, and sat through the entire trial, said she was ‘delighted’ with the verdict and felt justice had been done for her husband.

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 suggested the cover-up.

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 was a key witness, admitted her role in the accident and was given a caution by police.

Andom and Ntintili will be sentenced on June 26 and are expected to be given a community order.

*To read a full interview with Mr Lewis’ wife, Margaret, buy next week’s Weston Mercury.

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