Cleaner Neyko Neykov leaves court


Accused:Cleaner Neyko Neykov leaves court

A NURSE has told a court that she caught a male cleaner sexually touching a bedridden 91-year-old woman at a Carlisle care home.

Evelyn Sebastian said she found Neyko Neykov touching the private parts of helpless dementia sufferer Margaret Barbour, a resident at Blackwell Vale nursing home.

Mrs Barbour has since died.

Neykov, 53, a Bulgarian of Ruthella Street, off Newtown Road, Carlisle, went on trial at the city’s crown court yesterday.

The jury of four men and eight women heard how Miss Sebastian was walking past Mrs Barbour’s room at about 10am on March 26 when she spotted Neykov holding the bed sheets up with one hand.

It was then when she saw him touching his victim with his other hand.

Miss Sebastian said: “I caught his attention. I said ‘what are you doing? You cannot do that. You are not allowed to do that.’”

She immediately ran off to find her boss, but knew Neykov was following her.

“He was trying to say something to me, but I did not listen,” she said. “I just wanted to find the manager to tell her what happened.”

The court was told that cleaners were not allowed to touch residents or interfere with their beds.

Only nurses and other care staff were permitted to do this.

Keith Thomas, defending Neykov, suggested Miss Sebastian could have been mistaken as to what she saw. But the nurse replied: “No. I saw what I saw.”

She added: “Nobody else saw that – only me. Nobody could erase it from my mind.”

Mr Thomas claimed his client had been cleaning skirting boards behind the bed and had disturbed Mrs Barbour’s sheets.

He argued that this was what he was doing – with one hand on the bedframe and the other on the sheets – when Miss Sebastian saw what was alleged.

Mr Thomas also suggested to her that she saw what she thought through a half-open door with “a momentary glance to the left”.

Miss Sebastian rebuffed the all allegations under cross-examination, repeating: “I saw what I saw.”

Mrs Barbour, known as Madge, was in the Durdar Road care home after being diagnosed with senile dementia.

Prosecutor David Polgase said that for the last few months of her life, she was unaware of her surroundings and remained bedridden. Her physical condition, jurors heard, had deteriorated so much that care staff had moved her from an upstairs room to downstairs.

Medical evidence was supported by Mrs Barbour’s GP, Dr Alan Edwards.

He said in a statement: “It is my belief that she had no knowledge of any of the events around her.”

Neykov, who stood in the dock alongside an interpreter, denies sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder.

The trial continues.