Care home man poisoned food ‘to kill residents’
60-year-old suffering from mental health problems sprayed bleach in freezer
A Fife care home resident sprayed bleach over food in a freezer because he wanted to kill others in the complex.
Ian Bolton, 60, suffers from mental health problems and is now a patient Lynebank Hospital, Dunfermline, under a compulsory treatment order.
Last year he was living at the Hilton Court care home in Rosyth, where the incident took place, Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard.
Bolton was deemed unfit for trial because of his mental health state and in such cases an examination of facts hearing takes place with a sheriff determining if the charge is proved.
It was alleged on December 4 at the Hilton Road home, Bolton culpably and recklessly sprayed bleach on to food belonging to other residents within a freezer to the potential endangerment of their life.
Danielle Heron, 21, a worker at the centre, said she was on duty on the day of the incident when another resident raised concerns.
She said: “I was told there was a very strong smell of bleach in the fridge/ freezer, which had also been turned off.
“Someone had said a packet of frozen berries was smelling of bleach.”
Ms Heron said she spoke to her team leader and it was decided there would have to be a search of residents’ rooms.
The first room they asked to look at was Bolton’s. “We didn’t have to look because right away he pulled the bleach out of a cupboard and said, ‘It was me’. He had a spray bottle of bleach.
“He said he wanted to kill two of the other residents.”
Elizabeth Queen, 50, team manager at the care home, also gave evidence.
She said: “The smell of bleach was very powerful and we had to throw out all the food and clean out the freezer.
“One of the residents came over and said he could guess who did it.”
When they went to Bolton’s room he quickly admitted he was responsible, said the witness.
“I said to him there was an incident involving bleach and he said, ‘It’s up there’, pointing at a cupboard. There was a spray bottle of bleach there.
“He said he’d sprayed it over the food and I told him he could have killed someone. He said he realised that and wanted to kill the residents because he hated them.”
Sheriff Chris Shead found that the charge had been established and called for a report. Bolton will return to court for sentencing on December 11.