Northampton carer who wedged chair under door of epileptic nonverbal patient before going to sleep jailed

A Northampton carer who barricaded his severely-unwell nonverbal patient in his room by jamming a chair under his door for several hours has been jailed.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 12:56 pm

Jordan Kidd, 30, from Northampton, claimed he was under personal stress when he attended his night shift at a patient's bungalow in Northampton in late-2019, and "wanted to get some rest" and catch up on paperwork.

To do this undisturbed, he jammed a heavy dining room chair under the patient's bedroom door handle in the middle of the night and then fell asleep in another room.

The severely-ill patient could have been trapped alone in the room for up to four hours before the next carer arrived the next day and freed him.

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Northampton Crown Court heard how the 27-year-old patient could have been left alone for up to four hours.

At Northampton Crown Court on Friday (February 7), His Honour Judge Michael Fowler said: "This was a very selfish, very unpleasant act. You did this purely for your own benefit.

"It was selfish in the same way people decide to leave their own children locked up in the house to go to a club for their own entertainment."

The court heard how the patient in the case was a 27-year-old nonverbal man with several complex conditions that need round-the-clock care.

In fact, the patient was only released from his room when the carer for the next day's shift arrived at around 6.45am, who removed the chair from under the door handle and found the young man in a severely distressed state.

The patient - who suffers from epilepsy and several other life-threatening conditions - could have been barricaded in the room alone for up to four hours.

Kidd then emerged from a nearby room in the house having been woken up by the noise, and was ordered to go home.

He was reported to his supervisors, fired, and later charged by police with wilful neglect of a person without capacity.

Later, the parents of the patient said their son was "appreciative that [Kidd] would not be caring for him any longer".

A tub of ice cream not belonging to the young man was also found in the bungalow - which, the court heard, suggested Kidd had left the property to fetch while leaving patient locked in the house by himself.

It is understood Kidd had been caring for the man for five months at the time of the incident.

Kidd later pleaded guilty to the offence and said he had been under "immense personal stress" at the time.

But His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo told Kidd: "You took the decision to go to sleep and possibly leave the property, and you wedged the door shut with a chair. This clearly left the patient in significant distress.

"There are many people who choose to look after vulnerable people, and all of them put their own needs behind them when they get to work. Because the people they care for need them."

Kidd was jailed for three months, a sentence which Judge Mayo said he saw "absolutely no reason to suspend."