A care worker cleared by a jury of ill-treating a profoundly disabled woman has today spoken of her relief that her “horrible nightmare” was finally over.
Rehana Kosir told the Telegraph & Argus of the trauma and stress she had endured since being accused of abusing a 26-year-old blind woman she had looked after for more than a year.
The prosecution accused her of repeatedly pushing Michelle Roe in the face as she was prepared for a trip on January 14 last year.
CCTV footage was played in court but the jury found that Mrs Kosir was touching Miss Roe’s face to keep her awake because she was very tired and could die if allowed to fall asleep.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the experienced care assistant left court “without a stain on her character”.
He added: “I very much regret the stress and strain that she has had to go through and I hope I never see such a situation again.”
The court was told that Miss Roe, known as Shelley, was born prematurely and had a bleed on her brain. She is profoundly physically disabled, cannot speak and needs round-the-clock care. She suffers from sleep apnoea that means she can die if she falls asleep in the day when not wearing breathing equipment.
After she was acquitted, Mrs Kosir said she had lost her two jobs in the care profession because of the allegation.
“It has been a horrible year. I was in shock when I was arrested. It has been stress, day after day. I was on medication. I could not sleep. I could not eat. I could not talk to anyone,” she said.
“I knew there were cameras in that room. I was just touching her face to keep her awake. We were told that she would die if she went to sleep. See how much pressure that put on me.
“I really, really tried to look after Shelley. I loved her. She was like part of me. I would never have hurt her.”
Mrs Kosir said other carers should be aware of what could happen to them in a similar situation. She said: “I was an innocent victim. The whole prosecution was unfair.
“I want to work as a carer again and these people are not going to stop me. I trained hard and I am good at it.
“The horrible nightmare is over. I can get a good night’s sleep at last.”