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Australia: Disability carer sentenced to six years’ jail over death of patient due to criminal neglect

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The carer who admitted the manslaughter of Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith, who had cerebral palsy, has been jailed for at least five years and three months for her criminal neglect.

Sentencing Rosa Maria Maione in the Supreme Court, Justice Anne Bampton said the 70-year-old was grossly negligent, with her care for Smith falling well short of the standard expected.

“You did not mobilise her from the chair in which she was found. You did not toilet her properly and you did not clean her properly,” she told Maione on Friday.

“You did not feed her a nutritional diet or monitor her intake. You knew you were not capable of properly supporting her and you did not seek assistance in providing for Ms Smith’s needs."

“Despite the deterioration in Ms Smith’s health, you did not seek assistance from your supervisor or medical professionals until it was too late.”

Justice Bampton said Maione had absolutely no insight into Smith’s physical condition leading up to her death.

“Your incompetence, lack of training, lack of assertiveness and lack of supervision produced an environment where you failed to provide appropriate care,” she said.

“Every person living with a disability, every person who requires support, every parent, carer and support worker of persons living with a disability, I have no doubt shudders with fear when they hear of the utter lack of care and human dignity afforded to Ms Smith in those last months of her life.”

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Source: The Guardian, 18 March 2022

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