Care home man poi­soned food ‘to kill res­i­dents’

COURT: 60-year-old suf­fer­ing from men­tal health prob­lems sprayed bleach in freezer

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - NEWS - GARY FITZ­PATRICK

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.

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