SINGAPORE: A nurse was sentenced to 12 weeks' jail on Wednesday (Mar 6) for punching an elderly man in a nursing home last year.
Bernardo JR Perdido Ramos, 36, pleaded guilty to one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to the 77-year-old victim.
The court heard that Ramos worked as a nurse at Orange Valley Nursing Home.
On the afternoon of Nov 21 last year, he distributed bedsheets and pillowcases to residents in a room at the home.
A colleague of his, nursing assistant Dasanayak Achchillage Saman Kumara, was also in the room distributing clothes to the patients.
At this time, Ramos' trolley accidentally hit the bed of the victim.
This woke the elderly man, who suffers from dementia. He sat up on the bed and shouted: "Who disturb me?"
Ramos approached the victim and replied: "Why? Me! Why? Me!"
At this, the victim hit Ramos once on his chest, Deputy Public Prosecutor Benjamin Samynathan told the court.
Ramos retaliated, punching the patient four or five times on his face, with the elderly man falling back on his bed.
Ramos' colleague, Mr Kumara, shouted loudly at him: "Why what happened? Why did you punch him?"
Looking angrily at Mr Kumara, Ramos hit the victim one or two more times on the face before leaving the room.
Mr Kumara checked on the elderly man, who was covering his face, and asked him what had happened.
He did not reply, but Mr Kumara saw that there was a cut on the patient's ear, which bled. He coaxed the elderly man to remove his hand from his face, and saw that his left eye was swollen and red.
Mr Kumara left the room to inform his supervisor, but Ramos looked at him threateningly, telling him not to do so.
Eventually, Mr Kumara managed to tell his supervisor what happened, and a nursing manager lodged a police report saying that a resident at the home had been assaulted.
About an hour after the incident, the victim was asked if any of the male employees at the nursing home - including Ramos - had punched him.
However, as he had dementia, he said "no" each time.
He was examined by a doctor who found bleeding in his eye and puffiness on his eyelid, which healed within two weeks.
For voluntarily causing hurt, Ramos could have been jailed for up to two years and fined a maximum of S$5,000.
He was fired by the nursing home after the incident.