A CARER pulled a care home resident down stairs by her ankles when she refused to have a bath, a court heard.

Jean Kelly, 56, grabbed Joanne Nethercott, who has severe learning difficulties, and “bumped” her down the stairs, magistrates were told.

She was not injured but another carer reported Kelly to her manager at the £2,200 per week Woodlands Care Home in the New Forest.

Kelly was found guilty of common assault and has since been dismissed from her employers TrueCare, part of the Choice Care Group.

Now she has been sentenced to 150 hours of community service and ordered to pay £200 in compensation and £300 court costs.

The court heard how Ms Nethercott, who also suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, was assisted by her carers, including Kelly, to get up and go to bed after falling asleep on the sofa at 12.30am on September 3, 2013.

Ms Nethercott scratched Kelly’s face while she was helping her, the court heard.

The next morning, at about 5am, Ms Nethercott woke up and needed a bath.

She went to the stairs, sat down, and refused to move.

But, having run the bath and taken other steps to encourage Ms Nethercott to come down, Kelly dragged her to the bathroom at the home in Woodlands Road, Netley Marsh.

Kelly, of Knightstone Grange, Hythe, was found guilty of common assault at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

A spokesman for Choice Care Group said that Kelly was immediately suspended from her post and a police investigation and an internal investigation was carried out after the offence was reported.

They said: “A disciplinary hearing was held and Ms Kelly, while still suspended from her duties, was dismissed from Choice Care Group’s employment.

“Choice Care Group takes this issue very seriously and deeply regrets what has happened.

“We have robust safeguarding measures in place to ensure the safety of our service users and their families.

“The wellbeing of our service users remains our number one priority and this is reflected in our stringent recruitment process. All applicants are screened and checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service before being offered employment with Choice Care Group.”

Tim Cole, senior district crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex, said: “Jean Kelly’s role was to care for her patients.

“Having been a carer for 13 months for TrueCare, an assisted home for people with severe learning disabilities, she knew perfectly well that her job would have involved dealing with residents with different types of learning disabilities.”