A carer “lost control” and pushed and dragged along an extremely vulnerable patient at a specialist mental health hospital in Warrington and told him “I wish you were dead”.
One of his shocked colleagues told another worker that Jake Miller was “out of control” and a judge told him today, “It is clear you had momentarily lost control, out of frustration or whatever.”
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the victim would have felt, “frightened, bullied, humiliated and de-humanised” by the behaviour of Miller, who was a recovery worker.
“He was clearly upset, a nurse saw his lip quivering,” said Recorder Mark Ainsworth.
The victim was an in-patient at St Mary’s Hospital in Warrington, which provides specialised rehabilitation for adults with significant mental health illness, as he suffers from treatment-resistant paranoid schizophrenia and lacked the ability to understand information and communicate.
Ken Grant, prosecuting, said that Miller’s colleague, Claire Whimperley witnessed the incident on January 9 last year which began at 5 pm in the TV room.
“The victim sat up in his chair and Jake pushed him back down into his chair with one hand and with the other hand pushed his head back with a finger thumb on his temples. He said something like sit down or stay there. The victim looked shocked at this.”
Ms Whimperley asked if he wanted to go back to his room and after he said he did and stood up Miller grabbed his right arm and dragged him down the corridor towards the bedroom.
The man, who was aged 49, grabbed hold of Ms Whimperley’s sleeve and she told Miller but he did not reply and grabbed him with both hands and threw him on the bed.
Ms Whimperley said: “He was still holding my sleeve, so I was dragged into the room along with him. Jake said to him ‘You’re a waste of space, I hate him, I wish you were dead.’
“The victim replied, ‘No, I’m a nice man, I’m dead.’ I was shocked as he doesn’t normally answer back.
“I said to Jake, ‘you need to calm down’. He replied,’I hate him, I hate him, I hate him’. I saw Jake jump towards him holding up his fist in a threatening manner. He was flinching away. He did not actually hit him, but it was almost as if he was trying to intimidate him,” she stated.
Ms Whimperley told colleagues what had happened, saying to one,’ I’m not happy and Jake is out of control.’
Miller, 27, of Neville Avenue, Orford, Warrington, pleaded guilty to ill-treating a person who lacks capacity.
Adam White, defending, said that Miller, who has no previous convictions, “accepts pushing and shoving, what he calls heavy-handedness.”
He said that while Miller went to hit him he did not do so. “He accepts he went over the top and lost his cool.”
Mr White said that the job had been a vocation which he enjoyed and found rewarding. “This has put an end to what looked to be a long and rewarding career and accepts he is to blame.”
The victim was a challenging patient but the situation was one he had been trained to deal with. “He responded poorly to a challenging situation.”
He is now in another job and helps care for his grandmother, added Mr White.
Jailing Miller for eight months Recorder Ainsworth said it was clear that the victim, despite his difficulties in expressing himself, had been upset by the way he had acted with him.
He pointed out he had been in the job for two and a half years and had undergone qualifications to deal with such challenging situations.
“You lost all professionalism and lost control of your conduct.”