Hamilton caregiver pleads guilty to elderly assault

Piri Hemi and his family. (Newshub.)
Piri Hemi and his family. (Newshub.)

A caregiver who slapped an elderly man at a Hamilton rest home has pleaded guilty to assault.

Piri Hemi's whanau have taken charge of his care, after the dementia-sufferer was hit and manhandled by a staff member at Cascades resthome.

"I'm actually happy that she's actually stood up and said she's guilty - that she's owned up and taken some responsibility by the look of it," says Piri Hemi's son, Allan Hemi.

Mr Hemi's family decided to gather secret footage, after noticing he had become withdrawn and fearful.

The act was caught on hidden camera, and the carer, Sonali Deo, lost her job over the incident.

Deo has now admitted a single charge of assault. However, she's now hoping she'll get off without a conviction.

Her lawyer told Newshub he'll be seeking a discharge without conviction because a criminal record will jeopardise her future job prospects.

However, the family say it needs to be treated more seriously.

While they wait for a decision, they're just happy to have Mr Hemi home.

They've noticed improvements - this former gun cricketer's old sense of humour has returned, and it's life's small pleasures that keep him and his family rolling on.