• Robert Spicer

Leeds adult day care centre death

Day care centre death: suspended prison sentence for support worker

Health and Safety Executive v Tracey Ann Gilboy (2016) Leeds Crown Court, July 8

Tracey Ann Gilboy, a senior support worker, has been given a suspended prison sentence following the death of a severely disabled woman.

Significant points of the case

  • In April 2012 Alison Evans, a 34-year old severely disabled woman, was attending an adult day care centre in Leeds.

  • Ms Evans had not developed a rotary chew, the circular motion which allows food to be ground down for swallowing. Gilboy allowed a sweet to be given to Ms Evans. She choked and later died in hospital.

  • Gilboy had failed to take reasonable care for the safety of Ms Evans in a way which set in motion a chain of events which resulted in her death.

Gilboy was sentenced to 80 days imprisonment, suspended for one year, for a breach of section 7, HSW Act.

Section 7 of the 1974 Act deals with the general duties of employees at work. In summary, it states that it is the duty of every employee to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work.

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