Nurse jailed 16 weeks for assaulting elderly resident in nursing home
He punched the elderly man, 67, in the chest after the latter threw a tantrum and tore his shirt
A nurse at All Saints Home in Jurong East assaulted an elderly resident under his care, then told another staff member who witnessed the attack to lie about the incident.
Yesterday, Flores Alvin Jay Vargas, 36, was jailed for 16 weeks after he pleaded guilty to one count of voluntarily causing hurt.
He was an enrolled nurse at the nursing home during the incident on May 25 last year.
At about 6pm that day, the 67-year-old resident asked for a knife to cut an apple.
The resident is wheelchair-bound following an accident in 2017 that caused him brain trauma.
When another staff member told him she could not give him a knife, the man started throwing a tantrum, repeatedly pressing the call bell behind his bed.
Vargas then approached the elderly resident, trying to explain why he could not be given a knife.
But the man continued pressing the bell. He then pressed the handheld staff assist bell after the bell behind his bed was switched off.
Vargas tried to pull the handheld bell away from the man, but while doing so, the man pulled his shirt causing it to tear.
The accused became angry and punched the resident in the chest a few times and also kicked him. Two other staff members saw this and told him to stop.
It was only two days later that the victim told his brother about the assault when the brother visited him. The brother made a police report that day.
The victim was taken to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital at the request of his brother and warded for a week, with a medical report stating that he was suspected of having rib fractures.
After the incident, Vargas messaged one of his colleagues who witnessed the assault to lie that he did not punch the resident.
The colleague later gave a false statement to the police claiming she did not see the incident. It is not known if any action has been taken against the colleague for lying.
The court was told that Vargas was sacked on the day the victim returned to the nursing home.
All Saints Home issued a statement yesterday saying it took the safety and health of its residents seriously. It suspended Vargas upon receiving the complaint and sacked him after an internal investigation.
It added that it has taken further measures to safeguard residents, such as the installation of more security cameras and training for staff.
For causing grievous hurt, Vargas could have been jailed for up to three years, or fined up to $5,000, or both.