Pensioner was ‘force fed’ court is told

Briarwood Rest Home in Lostock Hall
Briarwood Rest Home in Lostock Hall

A district nurse has told jurors she witnessed a care home owner forcing food into an elderly man’s mouth during a visit.

Gail Ward gave evidence at Preston Crown Court in which she said Indranee Pumbien, former owner of Briarwood Rest Home in Lostock Hall, was holding the pensioner by his neck.

It was the kind of care home you never quite felt comfortable in but you could never pinpoint a reason why you didn’t feel comfortable there

Pumbien, 59, wearing a black cardigan and red shirt, stared at the nurse with her head cocked to one side, as she told the court she had seen her force food into his mouth.

She said: “I could see she was using both hands to pick up food from the plate. and manipulating it with her hands.

“You could tell by the movements of her arms. I saw it in flashes, her body moving as she was doing it. The gentleman’s head was moving backwards. That’s was what was quite shocking, she kept her hand quite firm but his head was moving back with the force of her hand.”

Asked about the care home, the nurse said: “It was the kind of care home you never quite felt comfortable in but you could never pinpoint a reason why you didn’t feel comfortable there.

“Patients were silent, and didn’t really interact very much - they seemed to just sit there and look quite sad.”

Pumbien’s defence lawyer tried to suggest she had cross words with her in the past, but Mrs Ward replied she did not.

Meghadeven Pumbien, 64, and Indranee Pumbien, of Grosvenor Place, Ashton, Preston, deny neglect and perverting the course of justice.

Indranee Pumbien denies 13 counts of ill treatment and Meghadeven denies neglecting to provide adequate lifting equipment and training.

Employee Niphawan Berry, 42, of Christchurch Street, Broadgate, Preston, denies causing grievous bodily harm, neglect and ill treatment. (proceeding)