A care worker from Nottingham has been handed a jail term after an autistic man drowned while in her care.
Majid Akhtar drowned during an activity trip when he fell into Kingsmill Reservoir near Mansfield, while suffering from an epileptic seizure on September 10, 2012.
Nikki Deaney, a former worker at Springwood Day Centre, was handed a four-month prison sentence at Nottingham Crown Court for failing to protect the vulnerable man while being distracted on her mobile phone.
A ‘vulnerable young man’
A joint investigation by Nottinghamshire Police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Ms Deaney’s phone records showed she was using her phone for 19 of the 34 minutes she should have been supervising Mr Akhtar.
Two dog walkers discovered Mr Akhtar floating face down in the reservoir and pulled him from the water, the court was told.
At an inquest in 2015, Mr Akhtar’s family released a statement through their solicitor, saying: “Majid was a vulnerable young man. He had autism and learning difficulties.
“The family had every right to expect on the day he left home that he would be subject to the correct care.”
Family continues to suffer
In January, Nikki Deaney of Sneinton Dale, Nottingham admitted a breach of duty of care under the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974.
She pleaded guilty to breaching section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and a judge has now sentenced her to four months imprisonment.
HSE inspector Stuart Pilkington said after the hearing: “This is a tragic case which was entirely preventable. It highlights the importance of maintaining focus when caring for vulnerable persons.”
An impact statement read out in court by Mr Akhtar’s father said the tragic incident has caused his family to suffer “physically and emotionally”.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 7, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown