Four employees convicted of mistreating and drugging the elderly at the Porto Moniz home

Four of the five employees who were accused of the crime of mistreatment of elderly people admitted to the Porto Moniz home were sentenced this afternoon, in the Central Criminal Court of Funchal (Building 2000), to one year and eight months in prison and three years in prison. All sentences have been suspended.

One of the defendants was acquitted.

The convicted employees were also obliged to pay 1000 euros in compensation to each of the users who were victims of abuse.

The home was inaugurated in October 2009 and, according to the Public Ministry’s accusation, there were problems practically from the beginning. Since 2010, there are indications that direct action assistants who worked in the home freely administered psychotropic drugs without a medical prescription “with a view to preventing users from giving them work” and to “calm them down”. Sometimes the dosage was abused and the elderly would sleep for days. The prosecution also reported instances of physical abuse.

In February 2018, the Regional Government removed the management of the home and filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office following “serious facts” found in an inspection.

This trial began on the 26th of May of last year and was extended due to the placement of the president of the panel of judges, Ana Rita Barra, in a court on the mainland. The former director of the home and former deputy Ana Serralha was also a defendant, but her case was separated as it was in an uncertain part.

From Diário Notícias