Carers who left Bradford City fire hero alone and disorientated on the floor for 14 hours jailed

Two carers who left a Bradford City fire hero who had dementia, alone and disorientated on the floor, have been jailed for his neglect

By Lucy Leeson
Saturday, 1st February 2020, 8:14 am
Margaret Shires (left), and Kaniz Rashid (right) were found guilty of wilful neglect
Margaret Shires (left), and Kaniz Rashid (right) were found guilty of wilful neglect

Kaniz Rashid, 52, and Margaret Shires, 64, found David Hustler, a hero of the 1985 Bradford City fire, lying "naked" and "distressed" on the ground after he activated an alarm following a fall in October 2015, Leeds Crown Court heard.

They returned the vulnerable 76-year-old to bed without making a record of his fall in their official log or any report to senior staff of his condition.

They also saw paperwork showing Mr Hustler's morning call had been missed, which would have been a few hours after the fall.

Sign up to our daily Dewsbury Reporter Today newsletter

David Hustler, photographed at Meadow Green Care Home in Dewsbury four months before his death in 2015.

A different carer found Mr Hustler "clearly unwell" the next morning and he was rushed to hospital, where he was diagnosed with pneumonia, which he died from days later.

Mr Hustler was awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal after he rescued two people during the fire disaster at Bradford's Valley Parade football ground in 1985.

The fire, which came on the final day of the football season when the club were celebrating winning the old Division Three, killed 56 people and injured 265.

Leeds Crown Court previously heard Mr Hustler, an assisted living resident, raised an alarm after suffering a fall in his room but despite his pleas "no help came".

Mr Hustler, who had dementia and Alzheimer's, was left lying naked on the floor in a "distressed" and "confused" state for 14 hours before he was seen again.

Read More

Read More
Bradford City fire hero who helped save 40 people left distressed for 14 hours b...

Rashid and Shires were found guilty of wilful neglect at a previous hearing in November.

Fellow carer Jennifer Greene, 63, was found not guilty of the same charge.

Prosecutor Katherine Robinson told the trial the care given to Mr Hustler amounted to "gross neglect".

Leeds Crown Court heard Mr Hustler was a resident at Meadow Green Lodge, an assisted living residence near Dewsbury, West Yorks., when he fell on October 19, 2015, at 6.49am.

Mr Hustler's movements over the 14 hours after his fall were captured by a hidden camera disguised as an alarm clock, which had been purchased by his partner Gloria Cotter.

Ms Cotter was "concerned" about her partner's care and thought workers "rushed him, didn't listen to him and could be abrupt".

A sentencing hearing today heard a victim impact statement from Ms Cotter, 77, his partner of ten years.

It said: "Helping and caring for David was never a chore. It never is when you love a person.

"We loved to go and watch the cricket together. David used to play cricket when he was younger but as he got older he preferred to watch it.

"Every Sunday we would go to Shipley so David could meet with his friends and play dominoes.

"He would usually win eight out of ten games.

"We enjoyed the simple things like watching tv and discussing the programme that was on.

"I miss being with David and I feel like I can't move on.

"He was a truly remarkable and selfless man.

"He could have got out of the fire in 1985 safely. He already saved one woman, he heard a young lad screaming 'please god help me' and he got him out too."

Sentencing the pair to seven months in prison, Judge Edward Bindloss said: "David Hustler was a remarkable man.

"In 1985, at Bradford City Football Club when it was on fire, at risk to himself, he saved the lives of two people.

"First a woman, then a 17-year-old who was on fire.

"He had no training as a firefighter and was not acting under orders, his human instincts kicked in and he did was right.

"He suffered from Alzheimer's and was on medication.

"You were both employed as care workers tasked with caring for him. You both wilfully neglected him.

"Mr Hustler was vulnerable, he told you he had been there for hours.

"He developed Pneumonia and died in hospital nine days later.

"The care he needed that morning was simple human understanding.

"A call for medical assistance would have taken just a minute.

"It is clear that Mr Hustler's death has had a significant effect on his family and his loved ones.

"It has been particularly difficult because his last days were so undignified for a man who was no ordinary person."

Mr Hustler's family said in a statement after the sentencing: "As a family, we just want to say we are so pleased to see these ladies brought to justice.

"A custodial sentence was the only way it should have ever gone. We're grateful for the hard work and determination the police officers have put in to bring this to court.

"Seven months isn't enough, they have taken David's life and it has cost us four years of our lives, but for David's sake it was worth it.

"He was a hero and he will remain a hero. That is how he should be remembered."