Carer jailed for assaulting 90-year-old Ipswich dementia sufferer had been investigated previously

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

A carer who was jailed for assaulting a 90-year-old dementia sufferer had been investigated for allegedly physically abusing another woman in a care home where she worked previously, it has emerged.

Dorothy Kerridge

Dorothy Kerridge - Credit: Archant

Dorothy Kerridge was jailed for three years by Ipswich Crown Court at the end of May after being convicted of two counts of actual bodily harm on Muriel Munro, of Caithness Close, Ipswich.

It has now been revealed that Kerridge, 56, of West View, Kelsale, near Halesworth, was the subject of a complaint in 2009 after it was alleged she had struck a woman while working at Haughgate House nursing home in Woodbridge.

The allegation was reported to Suffolk police, which launched an investigation, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was not sufficient evidence for a prosecution.

Kerridge is said to have been dismissed from Haughgate House after upsetting fellow members of staff.

Mark Carter, a director of the company which owns Haughgate House, said: “The police investigated and found there was no case to answer, but we were not happy with Dot.

“She spoke roughly to a few people so we decided to dismiss her at that time and then refer her to the Independent Standards Authority.”

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As the assault allegation was not proven Kerridge was never on a barring list, leaving her free to seek employment as a carer elsewhere.

Suffolk County Council also confirmed there had been a previous allegation against Kerridge which was investigated by police.

A council spokesman said: “There was an investigation after a complaint was made but it was carried out by the police. Our safeguarding team was aware.”

The spokesman confirmed Kerridge was never prosecuted over the allegation and therefore the case was not referred to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

When any checks to the service were made by Kerridge’s subsequent employer Versacare the previous allegation would not have been registered.

Michael Munro, the son of Mrs Munro, believes the carer’s name should have been put on the Disclosure and Barring Service’s list, which could have prevented her being employed to care for his mother.

Mr Munro said: “If she had been on the Disclosure and Barring Service list I think she would have been barred there and then and therefore would not have worked for anybody else.” Suffolk Constabulary declined to say whether there had been an earlier inquiry.

A spokesman said: “Police are unable to comment on allegations made against specific individuals which have not resulted in an arrest or charge.

“Any allegations of abuse are taken extremely seriously. Anyone who has been a victim or witness of abuse is encouraged to contact Suffolk Police on 101 so that specialist support can be offered and a full investigation can be carried out.”

Versacare declined to comment on Kerridge’s case