A HEALTHCARE assistant has been jailed for three months for ill treating a severely disabled man, swearing at him and twisting his thumb.

Ashley Page, aged 27, of Palatine Drive, Bury, was found guilty of three counts of ill-treatment or neglect of a person who lacks capacity following a trial at Bolton Crown Court.

Page worked in the Elton Unit of the Priory Highbank Centre in Walmersley Road, Bury, and on April 26 last year he was on a shift with Jodie Lewis, who witnessed his mistreatment of one of the patients, known as Bobby.

Bobby, is in his early 30s and was left with severe disabilities following a car crash, he is unable to care for himself, walk, fully communicate and lacks the mental capacity to make decisions for himself.

Judge Richard Gioserano said: “His family were entitled that he be treated with care, compassion and respect at all times.

“You clearly antagonised him by pinching his nose, next when he raised a leg, perhaps in objection to taking a shower, you first forcefully pushed his leg down and took his left hand and twisted his thumb backwards, having said the shower wouldn’t take long as you wouldn’t play his games.”

The jury had heard evidence from Miss Lewis that Page swore and threatened to break his thumb while twisting it.

He added: “Once in the shower, you again pinched his nose, again, that was cruelly antagonising him.

“You knew he could do nothing to stop you.

“Explanations are hard to find and none came from you. Even now you don’t admit you have ill treated him.”

Patrick Williamson, defending, said that, at the time the offences were committed work had become pressured for Page.

“It does seem at the time there was pressure derived from what he perceived as an unfair distribution of work,” said Mr Williamson.

“There is no evidence the defendant mistreated any other person on that day and clearly a number of patients were cared for.”

Judge Gioserano told Page: “I accept that in the normal course of events you have been a hardworking and law-abiding young man.

“You worked as a carer for more than five years and that you were dedicated to the care of patients with significant brain injury.”

However, he added that his previous good character and any pressures he was under did not excuse his ill treatment of a patient.

Page was ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

He was suspended from his job at Priory Highbank when the mistreatment was reported on April 28 last year and he was subsequently sacked.