A NEWPORT care home worker was given a community order and ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work after a court heard she slapped a 94-year-old dementia suffferer while trying to restrain her.

She was also made to pay £620 prosecution costs.

Caerphilly Magistrates Court heard Lucyna Gutkowska-Kalmuk, 36, was getting the woman dressed at the privately-run Ynysddu Nursing Home when the attack happened on July 6 last year.

Another worker, Sarah Richards, who witnessed the attack, said the slap to the woman’s arm was so loud it made her feel physically sick, brought a lump to her throat and tears to her eyes.

When she confronted her, Gutkowska- Kalmuk, of Moorland Park, told her: “That’s nothing, the best thing is when you’ve got someone like her in the shower and you put the shower head in their face. The shock stops what they are doing and calms them down.”

When Ms Richards again told Gutkowska-Kalmuk she was not allowed to do that, she replied: “Well it works”.

The court heard the elderly dementia sufferer had lashed out and sworn at Gutkowska-Kalmuk as she tried to dress her, but was being pacified by Ms Richards when the attacked occurred.

Gutkowska-Kalmuk, who was convicted of common assault following a trial in February, represented herself at yesterday’s hearing.

She maintained her innocence and told magistrates: “I haven’t done it. I am not guilty.”

Chairman of the bench Reverend Michael John Phillips said vulnerable people deserved to be treated with the greatest of care and said this particular case was made all the more distressing because of the woman’s age.

The probation service recommended Gutkowska-Kalmuk be disqualified from working with vulnerable people, but they were advised they did not have the power to enforce the recommendation, which could only be decided by an external tribunal.

A spokeswoman for Comfort Care Homes, which owns Ynysddu Nursing Home, said Gutkowska- Kalmuk was suspended when the allegations were made and was sacked after she was convicted.

She said they wanted the public to be assured they give quality care and are proactive in any disciplinary matters.

A Caerphilly council spokesman said the prosecution sent out a clear message that this behaviour would not be tolerated.

Anyone who suspects any abuse or neglect can report it by calling 0808 100 2500.