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Wednesday, September 8, 1999 Published at 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK


Elderly abuse: Case study

The media has highlighted cases of elderly abuse

The government claims new national standards for old people's care homes will make elderly abuse a thing of the past.

Cases of abuse have been highlighted by numerous media campaigns. BBC News Online examines one of the most brutal.


A nursing home worker was jailed for four years in July for abusing eight elderly women in his care.

Twenty-eight-year-old Simon Hack admitted one charge of causing actual bodily harm, three indecent assaults on women in their 80s and 90s and four of common assault.

Hack, who doctors said had a deep-seated hatred of women, worked for Sunways Nursing Home in Aldershot, Hampshire, from 1991 to 1996.

The prosecution said he seemed to target the frail and vulnerable and those who could not protect themselves.

The accusations against Hack included allegations that he poured cold water over a 78-year-old woman and put a stocking over her head, grabbed a 92-year-old woman's breasts, force-fed a 96-year-old and poured sherry down the throat of an 81-year-old, causing her to choke.

The prosecution said there had been over 100 complaints made about him.


Many of Hack's victims suffered from senile dementia and were wheelchair-bound. Some were unable to tell other staff of the abuse and at least one suffered psychological trauma as a result of her ordeal.

Hack was sacked from Sunways after complaints about his behaviour by fellow staff.

His lawyer said he was of low intelligence, did not understand the effect of his behaviour and needed psychiatric treatment.

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