Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Hamilton caregiver admits assaulting elderly man

The Hemi family, of Hamilton, from left back, Betty and Allan. Front from left, Piri and Priscilla. Photo / Belinda Feek
The Hemi family, of Hamilton, from left back, Betty and Allan. Front from left, Piri and Priscilla. Photo / Belinda Feek

A Hamilton resthome caregiver has admitted assaulting an elderly man she was caring for in a city rest home.

However, Judge Simon Menzies held off convicting Sonali Ananta Deo in the Hamilton District Court today so an application could be filed for a discharge without conviction.

Deo admitted assaulting Piri Hemi between June 9 and June 11 after his son, Allan, set up a camera in his room at Cascades Rest Home.

Allan Hemi's footage showed the 23-year-old hitting and slapping his father as he lay on his bed.

Hemi earlier told the Herald that his father suffered from dementia was unable to sit up or feed himself.

He initially decided to put his father in the rest home as it was spacious and the staff seemed friendly.

Hemi, his mother, Betty, and his wife, Priscilla, visited him twice a day to make sure he was okay.

"You would hear him before you see him. He was always whistling and singing."

However, during a visit about three weeks into his stay he noticed that his normally happy father suddenly stopped not only the whistling but talking as well. Then, in a visit not long after, he said ''hello'' to his father and waved his hand above his head.

His father cowered and curled over.

"He stopped singing, stopped whistling and wouldn't hardly even talk to us."

Piri Hemi is now living with his son, daughter-in-law, their children, and Betty.

Deo was remanded to reappear in the Hamilton District Court in December.

- NZ Herald

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