A CARER, responsible for looking after a vulnerable man with a mental age of six, abandoned him in a locked car while he went to the cinema to watch a film, a court heard.
Distressed John Auty, 50, who suffers regular epileptic seizures and has no mental capacity, was found strapped in the car seat, on the third floor of a city centre car park, more than an hour and a half after his carer, Yunus Navagar, had left him, Bradford Crown Court was told.
The court heard that 31-year-old Navagar was suffering from depression and anxiety, had suffered a family bereavement and was struggling to cope at work.
But jailing him for six months today, Judge Jonathan Rose described the defendant's behaviour as "reprehensible" and "disgusting" and said he had made the wrong choice by going to work.
Prosecutor Louise Reevell said Navagar had been a carer and support worker for three months to Mr Auty, a resident at a care home in Farfield Avenue, Wibsey, Bradford.
Mr Auty needed 24-hour care and must never be left alone. He had learning difficulties, a limited vocabulary and speech impediment, could not read or write, and had no concept of danger.
He had regular seizures from epilepsy and Navagar had put Mr Auty in the recovery position when he had a seizure three months before the offence.
On April 12 this year the defendant and Mr Auty were going to the cinema. Navagar drove to the Leisure Exchange car park and parked on the third floor, but left the complainant in the car and went to the cinema himself, to watch The Raid 2, an Indonesian-based martial arts action film.
A mother, Salma Saeed, parked nearby and saw Mr Auty staring at her from the front passenger seat. She went for a meal with her children and when she returned 90 minutes later she was concerned to see Mr Auty still sitting alone in the car. He appeared to be very distressed and seemed unable to respond when she asked if he needed help.
She summoned help from the security office and the police were alerted. Navagar returned to the car more than two and three-quarter hours after he had left.
He later told police he thought the complainant would just sleep.
The court heard Navagar, of Carlisle Terrace, Manningham, Bradford, who pleaded guilty to ill-treating and neglecting a person who lacked mental capacity, would now be barred from working in the care profession.
Judge Rose said the risk of Mr Auty having an epileptic fit while strapped in his seat was substantial.
He added: "One can only imagine how fearful he was to have been abandoned in that way.
"He was left immobilised for nearly three hours in that car, clearly alone, possibly thirsty, possibly hungry, possibly needing to use the lavatory. It can only be imagined what his suffering was like that day."
Judge Rose said Navagar had breached the trust placed in him. He had to be punished for what he had done and to deter others.
He added: "You should never work again with those who are vulnerable."
Navagar's solicitor advocate, Victoria Molloy, said he was of previous good character and the offence was an isolated incident and out of character. He had failed to cope with his own problems and made a terrible mistake which he regretted and was ashamed of.