News: Cops called on cheeky pensioner after care home prank

News: Cops called on cheeky pensioner after care home prank

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

Care home staff called police on a one-legged resident after he played a prank and then refused to leave a communal dining area.

William Hurst, 85, accused staff of overreacting when they dialled 999 and asked officers to tell him to vacate the room as instructed.

The drama unfurled after Mr Hurst dragged a table along the floor at Sunnyfiield court care home in Derby, and turned a sign around as a joke.

The retired armed services veteran said he’s now been banned from the shared dining area and has to eat alone as punishment for his actions, DerbyshireLive reports.

William Hurst
William Hurst

He said that when he didn’t move as instructed by staff, arguing that he hadn’t done anything wrong, they called the police to deal with the wheelchair-user.

Now the retired Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes tent-maker is worried he will not be allowed back into the dining room.

The home, owned by Housing 21, said that its restaurant provider reserves the right to limit use to protect other users’ wellbeing.

“Silly and stupid”

William Hurst
William Hurst

Mr Hurst, who pays £650 per month through disability benefits to live at Sunnyfield, said: “It’s just silly and stupid.

“It’s not a case of winning or losing. I just played a harmless joke, it was hardly even a prank.

“It’s where my neighbours and my friends are. This is ostracising me from my friends and that’s what I’m annoyed about.

“I want this ban to be lifted and I want to go back into the dining room.”

Divorcee Mr Hurst has lost one of his legs to cellulitis and says he will lose the other in just three months’ time.

The dispute happened on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at around 9.30am when he noticed a sign in the dining room that asked residents to put tables back to their original position if they moved them.

Mr Hurst says he moved a table just a short distance from its position as a joke and turned the sign around.

He said: “A restaurant worker came in. The idea was that she would see it and rush in to change it back again, but I would have already done it.

“But she came in and moved the table back and I said ‘I was going to do that’.

Banned

“Then she banned me from being in the dining room. She said ‘that’s it, you’ve got to go’.

“I said ‘no’ and I sat there because it was unfair. I had done nothing wrong. The manager even came up and said that I had to go but I didn’t.”

Mr Hurst says staff called the police on him because he refused to move.

He said: “In the end she rang the police. One officer came out and said that I had committed no crime and went off.

“So after that I went back to the dining room and stayed there for a while, but the manager again said I was banned.”

Mr Hurst eventually left the dining room because he had finished eating his breakfast.

William Hurst
William Hurst

The next morning, he says he returned to the dining room but staff again told him that he could not be there.

The police were called again and two officers came out this time, Mr Hurst says.

He continued: “The officers looked at each other and to me it looked as if they were trying to hide a smile.

“I haven’t been to the dining room since. I’ve never been any trouble for the police and I don’t want to be now.”

Disgusting

Ann Nash, 75, who also lives in the extra care flats, said: “I think it’s disgusting.

“Bill goes out of his way to help people and would help anybody. He’s helped me out many times before.

“He has got a funny sense of humour. He played a silly joke and did not mean anything by it.

“I think he’s been kept out for too long and it’s not fair.”

A spokesperson for Housing 21 said: “A number of discussions have been held between our on-site restaurant provider and one of our residents at Sunnyfield Court after a series of incidents in the communal dining area.

“The police have also been involved.

“As an Extra Care Living court, all of our residents are welcome to enjoy our on-site communal areas, but in instances of continued anti-social behaviour, our providers reserve the right to limit use in order to protect the wellbeing of other users, who are often vulnerable people.

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“The decision to limit use of the dining area for one of our residents has been made in co-operation with the police. The restaurant provider will review its decision again in the coming months.

“In the meantime, the resident is still welcome to use the court’s other communal facilities and we have also made other arrangements to provide him with meals as and when he would like them.

“We are working together with the resident and restaurant provider to help resolve this matter.”



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