Belfast Telegraph

Disgraced carer who stole food from frail pensioner patient is now working in chip shop

By Christopher Woodhouse

The greedy carer secretly filmed scoffing a frail pensioner’s food has got a new job — in a chippy.

Sacked Lisburn care worker Patricia Young made headlines across the UK when hidden camera footage exposed her making helpless Alzheimer’s patient Ivy McCluskey watch as she stuffed her face with food intended for her.

Alarmed by Ivy’s weight loss, her family had placed the camera in a bunch of flowers and the footage led to Young being

convicted of ill-treating the vulnerable 70-year-old.

Now food snatcher Young, 57, is preparing fast food for customers at PG Chips in Hillsborough, Co Down.

“I appreciate the irony of it but I have to move on,” said Young when Sunday Life spoke out to her outside the chippy last week.


But Ivy McCluskey’s daughter Mandy says her family has been unable to move on from Young’s shocking behaviour and the ordeal of the drawn out court proceedings.

Young received two years on probation after being convicted at Lisburn Magistrates Court in December 2012 of two counts of ill treatment and she was banned from caring for vulnerable people.

She was also fired by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust which issued a statement saying: “The trust apologies for the unacceptable standard of care provided to Mrs McCluskey.”

Sunday Life spoke to Young outside her new workplace, PG Chips and asked if she saw the irony of her working in the kitchen of a fish and chip shop after being caught on camera eating a frail pensioner’s food.

“That’s a long time ago, of course I appreciate the irony of it but I have to move on, I have to make my money somehow.

“We are talking about 2009, what do you want me to do, I have to move on.”

Ivy's daughter Mandy McCluskey was not impressed by Young’s response about moving on.

She told Sunday Life: “I understand she needs to work, I understand that fully.” But Mandy added: “She moves on but we can't.”

Mandy says she regularly bumps into Young in shops or the street and it always brings back terrible memories of what she did to her mum Ivy.

She says the betrayal of trust by the long serving carer continues to blight the family’s memories of their mother who died in January 2010 — three months after disgraced Young was removed as her carer.


“She has completely destroyed the memory of our mother, even when I go out to mummy's grave, every time I look at the headstone it's her (Young) that I see.

“Mummy's illness was quite long, we revolved our lives around mummy, we turned the living room into her bedroom, so mummy was always the focus of everything going on.

“No matter whose birthday it was we took everything to mummy and Patricia Young was involved. There was many a time she was involved because she was with us for over six years.

“We had sad times but we also had fun times, dementia comes in many shapes and forms, sometimes if you didn't laugh you would crack up.”

She added: “We talked as a family that when anything does happen to mummy we will be able to reflect and be able to laugh at some of things mummy did.

“But we can't talk about anything, every time you think of something to do with mummy all you can see is her (Patricia Young’s) face.

“She snatched all the years that we gave to our mother.”

Mandy also told Sunday Life of the horror of watching the hidden camera footage for the first time with her sister.

“I will never forget it, it took me three hours to put the camera into a bunch of flowers. I didn't target Patricia Young, I was starting from the beginning.

“When I saw it I ran from the house, I just couldn't take it in, I was just screaming.

“We used to wonder why the plants were dying, it was because fluid meant for mummy was being poured into the plant pots.


Mandy described some of what she saw on the video: “She was supposed to let her know a spoon is coming to her mouth, her swallowing wasn't that great, but she never spoke to mummy at all.

“She just put the spoon to her mouth and the food would've dropped on to her chest but she just scooped it up with the spoon and put it back to mummy's mouth and the same thing would've happened again.”

The hidden camera also showed Young scoffing the food meant for Mandy's mother.

 “She fed mummy only after she fed herself out of it. She sat like she was in a restaurant, dabbing her mouth with tissues.

“The position of the table was that it was always facing mummy, so mummy was looking into her face every time that she did it. It was soul destroying.”

Mandy also spoke of the ordeal the family had to go through during Young’s long draw out court case. Young had initially pleaded guilty to two charges of ill-treatment but the first case against her was dropped just as she was due to be sentenced in January 2011.


At the time, her lawyers raised a legal issue about the validity of the proceedings. A High Court legal challenge on her behalf was dismissed in May 2011.

Ms Young changed her plea to not guilty when the case resumed in Lisburn Magistrates Court, but she was found guilty on two charges of ill-treatment.

Mandy said: “She put us through the absolute mill, she took us right to the bitter end.”

“She claimed she was doing her duty to the best of her ability, then she contradicted herself by saying she was stressed.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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