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Turku court overturns nurse’s assault conviction

The incident was one of those flagged in 2016, when a local newspaper published a report alleging mistreatment at the Turku City Hospital’s G1 elderly psychiatric care ward.

Kupittaan psykiatrisen sairaalan julkisivu.
Kupittaa psychiatric hospital (file photo) Image: Nora Engström / Yle

The Turku Court of Appeal has overturned a nurse’s conviction for assault on an elderly patient.

The District Court of South-west Finland had earlier fined the man for an alleged assault on a patient at the Turku City Hospital’s G1 elderly psychiatric care ward in Kupittaa in December 2015.

The appellate court said if found no evidence to support the lower court’s decision.

The defendant appealed the original ruling, arguing that it was based on the account of just one of the other nurses present at the time. There were three nurses in the room, one woman and two men, including the defendant. The female nurse testified at the appeals court hearing.

The court found no evidence that the defendant had intentionally caused the patient pain or used unnecessary force.

Newspaper report spurred probes

The Kupittaa incident was one of others raised in February 2016, when local newspaper Turun Sanomat published an extensive report alleging mistreatment at the G1 ward.

That also led to a separate case in which another male nurse was accused of aggravated assault on a patient. Last autumn the District Court of South-west Finland handed him a 14-month suspended sentence. That case is also under appeal. Charges against two other nurses were dropped.

Meanwhile the city of Turku carried out an internal investigation, issuing warnings to four civil servants.

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