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Carer convicted over nursing home assault

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/03/2017

A 23-year-old carer has been convicted after assaulting an elderly man in a Hamilton rest home.

Sonali Ananta Deo was caught on camera slapping Peri Hemi at the The Cascades rest home in June last year.

She pleaded guilty to the charge in October.

Mr Hemi, 86, who was suffering from both dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and was immediately withdrawn from the facility.

He died in January.

Deo had sought to avoid a conviction on the grounds it would hinder her ability to become a registered nurse, having applied to study at Wintec.

However Judge Kim Saunders rejected this argument in sentencing.

"The offending was moderately serious as he was alone under your care and clearly vulnerable," Judge Saunders said.

"It was not limited to one slap their were two separate occasions when you assaulted him,"

She said Deo didn't need to be a registered nurse to understand that it was simply unacceptable to hit a patient.

"Your lack of training may explain why you didn't immediately seek help, but that doesn't justify what you did," she said.

No further penalty was imposed.

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