Friday 22 March 2019
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Found dead under wardrobe' at Derbyshire care home

An 80-year-old woman with Alzheimer's Disease was found dead under a wardrobe that had fallen onto her at a care home, Derby Crown Court heard.

Thomasina Bennett, from Belper, was temporarily staying at Milford House Care Home in Derbyshire while her daughter was on holiday.

Mrs Bennett was discovered by a carer early one morning in April 2012. She was later confirmed dead by a nurse.

Milford House Partnership has denied two health and safety at work charges.

Jonathan Owen, prosecuting for Amber Valley Borough Council, told the jury: "Only a small proportion of Mrs Bennett's weight was needed to pull over the wardrobe and [this] exposed Mrs Bennett to significant risk to her health and safety."

Safety risk

He added that a sufficient assessment would have concluded the wardrobe was not safe and should have been fastened to the wall.

Mr Owen also said the personal activity monitors used in the home posed a risk to health and safety as staff could only react to one at a time.

Gerald Hudson, 72, from Ambergate, trading as Milford House Partnership, denies both charges brought under the Health and Safety Act.

He does not have to appear in the dock or attend court as the charges are brought against the partnership.

Judge Jonathan Bennett told the jury: "You are not here to decide if the defendant caused or did not cause the accident; it's all about the risk to safety."

The case is expected to last about two weeks.