An 85-year-old man was brutally beaten by a fellow care home resident in what his family described as a crazed attack that lasted nearly an hour. James Hand was taken to hospital with a host of injuries after a 77-year-old bit his victim’s fingers nearly to the bone, smashed a radio over his head, beat him with a walking frame and hit him with a television remote control. Emergency services were called to the scene and Mr Hand was taken to hospital for treatment.
Melanie Dolman, the partner of Mr Hand’s son, told Leicestershire Live his fingers were nearly bitten to the bone and is “lucky to be alive”.
She said: “We were in total shock. He smashed his radio over his head, he ripped the call bell out the wall, the pressure pads which should have sent an alarm out weren’t working. He hit him with his zimmer frame, smashed him with a tv remote controller.
“How he didn’t kill him I have no idea – the radio was very heavy and weighty and he had that bashed over his head multiple times.
“He was bitten on his head, which meant he required stitches, he bit his fingers right down to his bone and may need plastic surgery or skin grafts on his hands.
“This man hit James with anything he could lay his hands on in the room.”
He was arrested, but could not be interviewed by police and is deemed not fit enough to be charged with a criminal offence.
Ms Dolman has asked why staff at Meadows Court care home in Aylestone did not intervene sooner.
She said: “I told the manager if you knew he was in there for 50 minutes, why didn’t you go to him?
“Supposedly at around five past seven, the cameras showed him walking in and then around 53 minutes later the feed showed the carers running in.
“Why weren’t they checked on by staff? He was brutally attacked in his own bed for 50 minutes and nothing was done until they later heard the commotion. He could have died.”
Meadows Court has said the alarm call bell in Mr Hand’s room was deliberately broken in the attack and admitted that staff did not hear a sound coming from the room during 50 minutes of the attack.
But a spokesman added: “Staff took immediate action when they were alerted to a resident in distress, including administering first aid and alerting the authorities.
“Providing quality care to our residents in a safe environment is our absolute priority and while this was clearly a distressing event, multiple investigations – including by Leicester City Council and the Care Quality Commission – have confirmed that the home’s staff acted appropriately before, during and after the incident in September. Everyone was pleased to see the resident’s recovery when he returned to the home following the incident.”
A Leicestershire Police spokesperson said: “Following an investigation and medical assessment, it was determined that the man arrested was not fit to be interviewed in relation to the offence or to be subjected to any potential legal proceedings. The man was therefore released into the care of the health service.
“The officer in the case provided a full update and explanation to the victim’s family in relation to the decision made.”
Investigations into the incident were launched by both Leicester City Council and the Care Quality Commission, which rated the home as ‘requires improvement’ in its last inspection.
The city council declined to comment until the matter is officially concluded.
A CQC spokesperson said: “We have liaised with the provider to determine the full circumstances around the incident, and have been assured they took immediate action to ensure people’s safety.”