Care worker appears at court on allegation of ill-treatment

Zak Rowlands, 19, of Leyland has a chromosome disorder
Zak Rowlands, 19, of Leyland has a chromosome disorder

A carer has appeared in court accused of assaulting a vulnerable boy with learning difficulties after the family allegedly recorded camera footage in his room.

Frail Zak Rowlands, 19, was born with a chromosome disorder and suffers autism and severe learning difficulties.

The youngster, who is the size of a 12-year-old due to his illness, was being cared for at Oxen Barn on Longmeanygate in Leyland, a specialist care home.

Stanley Nkenko, 35, of St Ethelbert’s Avenue, Bolton, is accused of hitting him on the head as he put him to bed on May 20.

He entered no plea to a charge of ill treatment or neglect of someone who lacked mental capacity, during a first hearing at Preston Magistrates Court.

Prosecuting, Claire Harris said Zak’s parents, Paul and Julie, both 47, grew suspicious when Zak, who cannot speak, started flinching when he was approached.

She said: “The victim returned to his parents home and spends time with his family. The parents have noticed a change in his behaviour. he seemed to be flinching. they installed a CCTV camera in the residential home and on May 21 reviewed the footage and saw the defendant slap the victim across the back of the head twice.”

Nkenko will next appear before Preston Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on July 1.