Four care workers have been sentenced after taking part in the "gratuitous sport" of abusing elderly dementia sufferers at a nursing home.
"Weak and inadequate" management at Hillcroft nursing home in Slyne-with-Hest, Lancaster, led to victims being mocked, bullied and tormented because they would have no memory of the mistreatment, a judge said.
The vulnerable victims were pelted with bean bags, stamped on deliberately and one man was nearly tipped out of his wheelchair for the "entertainment" of four care workers.
ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:
In November, Carol Ann Moore, 54, Katie Cairns, 27, and Gemma Pearson, 28, were found guilty by a jury at Preston Crown Court of ill-treatment of a person who lacks capacity after a four week trial.
Darren Smith, 35, from Lancaster, admitted ahead of the trial eight counts of ill-treatment in which he threw bean bags or balls at eight residents.
In sentencing, Judge Michael Byrne said the offences were "an indictment" on Hillcroft nursing home management.
The sentences that the four care workers received
- Darren Smith sentenced to eight months in prison for badly treating dementia sufferers.
- Carol Ann Moore was jailed for four months.
- Katie Cairns was sentenced to five months in prison.
- Gemma Pearson was given a 12 month community order with supervision and told to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work.
All the offences spanned from May 2010 to September 2011 and related to seven men and one woman, all aged in their 70s or 80s, with the eldest aged 85.
Chris Haywood, whose father Ken was abused in the nursing home, told ITV News it was "harrowing" being told that his relative was mistreated.
Ken, who died two years ago, was stamped on the foot by his carer Cairns.
Mr Haywood told ITV News' Damon Green that the heroes in this case were the whistleblowers at the home who alerted the authorities to the abuse taking place in Hillcroft.
A joint statement from the families of the victims said that they took no pleasure from today's outcome and that they were still "waiting to receive formal apologies" from the perpetrators.
They also added that it "disappointed" them that Gemma Pearson would not serve jail time her role in the abuse at the care home.
Lancashire constabulary said the four care workers showed a "complete disregard" for the dementia sufferers welfare and that their behaviour was "utterly contemptible".
What the four care workers were sentenced for
Carol Moore - The care team leader was found guilty of one count in which she struck a resident on the unit for people with "challenging behaviour".
The court heard she walked up to the victim and slapped him after a complaint was made from the man's wife about a lack of activities at the home.
Darren Smith - The 35-year-old admitted eight counts of ill-treatment in which he threw bean bags or balls at eight residents.
Katie Cairns - She was convicted of three charges including stamping on a victim's foot, throwing bean bags at another male and mocking another.
Gemma Pearson - She was convicted of attempting to tip a resident out of his wheelchair and was told that if she had succeeded, she would have been sent to jail.