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Manager jailed over care home assault on resident; Man, 56, sat in lap of disabled woman.

Byline: TOM SHIEL

A MANAGER who sat on an intellectually disabled woman's lap at the Aras Attracta residential centre was jailed for four months yesterday.

A judge described Patrick McLoughlin's actions as an "offensive, downgrading invasion of her bodily integrity" as she sentenced him for assault.

The father of three had pleaded not guilty to assaulting a woman known as Miss A - who is non-verbal and autistic.

Evidence against McLoughlin, 56, and four others was obtained by RTE's Investigations Unit which secretly placed a camera in the living room of Bungalow 3 of the complex in November 2014.

At Ballina District Court the clinical nurse manager, from Lalibella, Claremorris, Co Mayo, was also ordered by Judge Mary Devins to pay [euro]1,000 to his victim's personal fund. The accused was visibly upset by the ruling and at an earlier court sitting he had described his actions as "a bit of fun", and "playful interaction".

But Judge Devins yesterday said there had been a hint of cruelty in his actions to a particularly vulnerable woman.

McLoughlin had stated in evidence he had chased Miss A to her chair - which was very special to her - and when she got there before him he had half sat on her and half sat on her chair.

Judge Devins said: "That outcome should have been obvious to any reasonable person and indeed could have resulted in physical injury to Miss A."

Judge Devins highlighted physical and gender differences between McLoughlin and Miss A and the fact the victim was a long-term resident of the Aras with huge intellectual disabilities while he was a senior member of the staff and a qualified professional.

Joan Gill, 63, of Swinford, Co Mayo, avoided a custodial sentence for what Judge Devins said was an act of cruelty and inhumanity by dragging a resident - identified in court as Miss C - across the floor.

She is to be assessed for her suitability to carry out 240 hours of community service instead of a four-month jail term.

Other defendants, who pleaded not guilty to assault, were Christina Delaney, 35, from Hollymount, Co Mayo, Joan Walsh, 42, of Curry, Co Sligo, and 56-year-old Kathleen King, from Foxford, Co Mayo.

All three were ordered to pay [euro]600 compensation towards their victim's personal fund and they will be assessed for community service instead of prison sentences.

news@irish

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SENTENCE Patrick McLoughlin

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2016
Words:400
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