10 May 2013

Care worker guilty of abusing disabled boy

9:18 pm on 10 May 2013

A jury has found a Nelson care worker guilty of assaulting a severely disabled boy in her care.

Linda Pearl Ericson, 62, faced six charges of assault in the Nelson District Court against the then 16-year-old boy, while he was in her care.

She was accused of grabbing him by the throat, kicking and punching him, as well as verbally abusing him.

The boy has Down's Syndrome and autism and is one of the most highly supported individuals in New Zealand, requiring constant care.

Ericson was the team leader in the Stoke home set up specifically to look after the boy when he moved into care from his family environment in 2009.

She denied the charges, saying she liked working with challenging patients and that he was "a great joy to look after".

The jury found her not guilty on three of the charges.

She will appear for sentencing on June 26.