A Mexborough pensioner suffering from dementia had to be rescued by firefighters when she plunged down an unguarded manhole at the council home where she lived.
fThe terrifying incident led to a £5,000 fine for Doncaster Council, whose workman was to blame, but it was criticised as ‘a travesty of justice’ by Lilian Beasley’s family.
They said her mental health had deteriorated dramatically since the incident in March 2012 at the Oldfield House care home in Stainforth.
Council plumber David Barratt has been disciplined over the incident and a nine-point action plan to improve health and safety had been implemented by the council, Doncaster Magistrates’ Court was told.
District Judge Jonathan Bennett said it was ‘incredibly fortunate’ that Mrs Beasley, aged 82, did not suffer more than cuts and bruises. Doncaster Council pleaded guilty to the Health and Safety at Work Act breach and was fined £5,000 with £2,040 costs.
Timothy Johnson, prosecuting, said Mr Barratt left the manhole uncovered while he went to turn the water supply back on and Mrs Beasley fell down it and staff could not pull her out.
Mrs Beasley has since been moved to another residential home, in Mexborough, where she has lived for most of her life.
After the case Mrs Beasley’s son, David, said: “Since the fall her Alzheimer’s has increased rapidly and I think her deterioration is down to that. We haven’t seen justice done today.”