Sun, 14 May 2023 at 6:06 pm BST
A care worker subjected a vulnerable resident to a series of brutal attacks – one of which saw the victim held down by another care worker, a court heard.
Birmingham Crown Court heard that Tomsmart Ariwodo and Olowafemi Obiodun both worked at residential accommodation in Edgbaston, Birmingham, when they abused the man, who suffered from autism and had learning difficulties.
On one night shift in October 2021, over a 10-minute period there were three incidents during which the victim was thrown onto a sofa, manhandled and punched by Ariwodo and on one occasion Obiodun held the resident by his arm, prosecutor Suzanne Francis told the court.
She said the attack was captured on CCTV and after the victim reported what had happened to a member of staff, Ariwodo was suspended then dismissed while Obiodun later handed in his resignation.
In a statement, the victim’s mother said her son would regularly repeat what had happened to him at the accommodation, which was managed by Blueberry Transitional Care, and said he could not forget it.
She said it had “broken his heart” and left him feeling angry and upset.
Ariwodo, 52, of Edgbaston and Obiodun, 45, of Sandwell, previously admitted to ill-treatment by a carer. The former was jailed for 12 months while Obiodun was sentenced to nine months suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work.
Sentencing, Judge Dean Kershaw said the defendants were “not inexperienced” carers, telling the court: “The victim had autism and was a full-time resident. His vulnerabilities were such that he was unable to give an account for the prosecution.”
He continued: “You were both responsible for his care. Someone in his position deserves care and comfort and to be treated with respect but you showed none of that.
“It is clear from the footage you both lost control even when you were aware that it was likely to be recorded.”
He said it may have been sheer luck that the victim was not injured and that the footage may have shown the defendants taunting the man.
Describing the attack by Ariwodo as “pretty brutal”, he said: “There is no doubt you were the main aggressor. It was said you had totally lost it but it was more than that.
“This was not just one incident. This continued over 10 minutes and there were three occasions when you breached your duty of care when you pushed, pulled and abused him and punched him, with what looked like some force, towards his head and body.”
Giles Pengelly, defending Anwodo, said: “He accepts he completely lost control and lost the plot. This offence is not who he is.”
He said he had since got a job in a factory and there was considerable shame on his part.
Fransesca Perera, defending Obiodun, said he had initially tried to intervene and should have done more but accepted he had held the man’s arms.