Care nurse jailed for attack on Alzheimer’s patient


By Michael MacLeod

A CARE home assistant has been jailed for dragging an 86-year-old woman along the floor and dislocating her shoulder.

Zimbabwean national Carla Nyatsanza, 35, was sacked by the Pentland Hill Nursing Home in Edinburgh following an attack on Jean Burgoyne.

The Alzheimer’s patient was left bruised and bleeding after Nyatsanza pulled her along a corridor shouting “lets go, lets go.”

Today (Thursday) Sheriff John Horsburgh sentenced her to 35 weeks in prison.

He told her: “You were meant to be looking after people, but this woman was left badly bruised and with a dislocated shoulder.”

Nyatsanza was arrested after a colleague who witnessed the assault alerted police, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard previously.

They said Mrs Burgoyne – who often wandered around the home – was seen sitting on a seat in a corridor at the facility during a night shift on October 27, 2008.

Dragged along the floor

Nyatsanza tried to pull Mrs Burgoyne up but she tumbled to the floor.

Another assistant came to help Nyatsanza lift the fragile patient, but as she left she heard a thud and Mrs Burgoyne shouting.

She then saw Mrs Burgoyne on the floor with Nyatsanza using both her arms to drag the pensioner along the carpet.

Nyatsanza was shouting “lets go, lets go.”

Thirty minutes later a staff nurse at the home found Mrs Burgoyne crying and in pain.

A cut was discovered on her left foot as well as redness on her knees.

A doctor examined her the next day and found Mrs Burgoyne’s shoulder had been dislocated, although it was noted that this could have been the result of her fall.

“A very serious offence”

Nyatsanza, of Weir Court in Edinburgh, pled guilty to assault at a previous hearing last year.

Her defence agent Gordon Stewart said: “If she had previous convictions then a custodial sentence would be the obvious option.

“But as that is not the case, I would urge the court to consider a community service order.

“She would comply with such an order if it was felt appropriate.”

Sheriff Horsburgh told Nyatsanza: “You pled guilty to a very serious offence involving an 86-year-old woman in a care home.

“You were meant to be looking after people, but this woman was left badly bruised and with a dislocated shoulder.

“A custodial sentence is the only option.

“My starting point was five months but that is reduced having taken consideration of your early plea.”