Care workers jailed after fire hero's death

Care workers jailed after fire hero's death

TWO workers at a Heckmondwike care home have been sentenced to seven months in prison for the wilful neglect of a vulnerable pensioner. 

David Hustler, 76, died after a fall at the Meadow Green residential facility on Dale Lane in October 2015.

Mr Hustler, a Bradford City fire disaster hero, was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for rescuing two people from the Valley Parade fire in May 1985. 

Leeds Crown Court heard that Mr Hustler suffered the fall in his flat at 6.49am on October 19, 2015.

The pensioner – who suffered from vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease – activated his pendant alarm to summon help, but was left lying “naked” and “distressed” for 14 hours. 

A motion-activated CCTV camera, installed by Mr Hustler’s family, recorded him calling for help, asking for water, moaning with pain and attempting to cover himself with a duvet. 

Kaniz Rashid, 52, and Margaret Shires, 65, found Mr Hustler during their evening visit. 

But instead of alerting senior staff about the fall or summoning medical help, the pair merely returned him to bed. 

Leeds Crown Court previously heard that Rashid, of Thornton Road, Bradford, and Shires, of Yew Tree Court in Liversedge, were coming to the end of a long shift and both agreed not to call an ambulance as it would have taken up to four hours to arrive. 

The pair also failed to inform anyone that Mr Hustler had missed his morning visit and hadn’t taken his morning medication. 

He was found “clearly unwell” by another carer the next morning and rushed to hospital, where he died days later (October 28) after being diagnosed with pneumonia. 

Caroline May from the CPS said: “This was an absolutely tragic case involving the wilful neglect of a frail and vulnerable elderly gentleman. 

“Mr Hustler was left alone on the floor of his room for almost 14 hours; hungry, thirsty, and in pain. His desperate calls for help went unanswered. 

“When the care workers eventually arrived, they failed to follow the correct procedures, did not summon medical help, and subsequently falsified records and lied to protect themselves. 

“Our thoughts remain with Mr Hustler’s family.”  

A third defendant was acquitted of the same charge. 

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