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Carer jailed after eating pensioner's meals leaving her to starve

Joan Barnett jailed for 10 months for 'cruel and heartless' treatment of pensioner Photo: Liverpool Echo

A "heartless and cruel" carer has been jailed after eating a pensioner’s dinner in front of her helpless victim then left her hungry.

Joan Barnett, 58, was supposed to help vulnerable residents eat at Redholme Memory Care nursing home in Mossley Hill on Merseyside but instead took their meals instead.

Liverpool Crown Court heard her young colleague Demi Dooley became suspicious after she noticed residents seemed "reticent" around Barnett, avoiding eye contact.

Miss Dooley then witnessed Barnett giving 89-year-old Joyce Curtis "a violent push to the head" and recorded the incident on her mobile.

The shocking video showed Barnett eating a two-course meal meant for hungry Mrs Curtis, who had Alzheimer's disease.

The mum-of-two was later confronted over her despicable treatment of Mrs Curtis - who has since died - by the care home's owner.

The court heard unrepentant Barnett, of Montrose Road, Old Swan , replied: "She doesn't eat food anyway - it's a waste of food."

Miss Dooley's actions in reporting Barnett's behaviour and recording the incriminating footage was praised by the judge.

Trevor Parry-Jones, prosecuting, said the victim was forced to watch the carer eat in front of her.

He said: "I can only liken it to a young bird in a nest making movements with her mouth as if she wanted to have either some liquid or food. It was utterly ignored."

Jane Wilcox, Mrs Curtis' daughter, said the home was "fantastic" and it "beggared belief" that Barnett treated her mum like she wasn't a real person.

She said the OAP, who couldn't communicate, must have been "terrified", adding: "I trusted you - for you to do what you have done is disgusting."

Barnett, who has no previous convictions, admitted two counts of ill-treatment or neglect of a person who lacked capacity, she was jailed for 10 months.

John Rowan, defending, said Barnett was "terrified" of being in court, but described her own actions to him as "disgusting, heartless and cruel".

"You left her to starve and dehydrate that day effectively, because you gave her no food, you gave her no liquids." He added: "You let her down in the most heartless, cruel and frankly bullying way imaginable - sitting there and eating in front of her."

– Recorder Swinnerton