A residential care worker was so drunk on the job that when she struck a “vulnerable” resident she had no memory of what happened, a court has heard.
Caroline McMullan (52), of Ramoan Court, Ballycastle, was working at ‘supported accommodation’ in Ballymoney when she hit a female “service user”, Coleraine Magistrates Court was told on Monday.
McMullan appeared in the dock and admitted a charge of common assault relating to Sunday November 19 this year.
On the same date she also assaulted a police officer who was called to the scene. McMullan also pleaded guilty to that charge.
A prosecutor said police were called to premises in Ballymoney after a report of an assault “on a vulnerable female resident”.
The prosecutor said a witness said an “intoxicated co-worker” had struck the victim who was sobbing and “highly distressed”.
McMullan had to be handcuffed by police who took her to Coleraine PSNI Station.
A defence solicitor said the assault on the resident involved “three back-handed connections to a thigh” and said no injury was caused and that McMullan later kicked a police officer.
He said his client had a previously clear record but “for reasons unbeknown to herself she decided to drink while working”.
The lawyer said the defendant had been working long shifts.
The solicitor said McMullan had been sitting beside a service-user when the incident happened and added: “There were no injuries. It was more of an admonishment as opposed to a physical assault.”
He added his client “had no memory whatsoever” of the incident but was pleading guilty. He said she was “embarrassed” by what had happened.
The lawyer said there were “obvious implications for any future employment” in the care field and said McMullan is now a clerical assistant.
District Judge Liam McNally imposed a two-year conditional discharge on the defendant and ordered her to pay £75 compensation to both assault victims.
He told McMullan: “It is unfortunate that you have blemished your previously good record by your behaviour on November 19”.