Live-in carer drank eight cans of lager and smoked cannabis before assaulting paralysed woman, 89

Pavla Dolanska, 36, (L) attacked  89-year-old Doris Radford. (Reach)
Pavla Dolanska, 36, left, attacked 89-year-old Doris Radford. (Reach)

A live-in carer drank eight cans of lager and smoked cannabis before assaulting a paralysed grandmother, a court heard.

Pavla Dolanska, 36, attacked 89-year-old Doris Radford leaving her with such terrible injuries that another carer described them as “shocking and sickening”.

The victim suffered a head injury from blunt force trauma that caused a fluid collection around her brain.

Mrs Radford died 17 days after the attack when she stopped eating at a care home, but the coroner at her inquest found no link between the injuries she sustained and her cause of death.

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The family of Doris Bradfor: (L-R) Joseph Milton, Lorraine Milton, Daphne Bassett, Mansell Bassett and  Leah Milton.
The family of Doris Radford: (L-R) Joseph Milton, Lorraine Milton, Daphne Bassett, Mansell Bassett and Leah Milton. (BRISTOL LIVE/BPM MEDIA)

Dolanska was jailed for one year and eight months at Bristol Crown Court for inflicting grievous bodily harm.

The court heard that on evening of 17 April, 2021, she was Mrs Radford's sole overnight, live-in carer at her home in Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol.

Mrs Radford was paralysed because of a spinal chord injury, had suffered a stroke, was bedridden, non-communicative and suffered from advanced dementia.

That evening Dolanska visited the shops twice, bought a total of eight cans of Stella Artois lager, and consumed cannabis, the court heard.

At around 1am she sent a text message to Kelly Cutler, who cared for Mrs Radford during the day, saying she "needed help".

Dolanska told police she "snapped" and assaulted Mrs Radford, causing shocking injuries to her face, shoulders and head, but later said she could not remember what happened after drinking and smoking.

The court was told the right side of Mrs Radford's face was purple with bruising, she had lacerations around her eyes and nose and finger imprint bruises on her shoulders.

Ms Cutler later received the text message before quickly arriving at the home and discovering Mrs Radford had been assaulted and calling police.

She was discharged from hospital a week later to a care home, but because of COVID-19 was placed initially in an isolation room.

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Mrs Radford stopped eating and drinking – something she had done before – and died six days later on 5 May.

Defending, Mandla Ndlovu told Judge Moira Macmillan that Dolanska had been under incredible stress at the time of the attack due to the increased workload caused by the pandemic.

He added she was working as a carer to meet the financial needs of her sick father's debts, and for the upkeep of her son back in Czechia.

Mr Ndlovu said: "But the most acute issue was the screaming at all hours of the day and night. Mrs Radford was very verbal, shouting out often the same word in a loop, and Pavla Dolanska would struggle to get any sleep, and had by this point become quite sleep deprived.”

Judge Macmillan initially sentenced Dolanska to two and a half years in prison, then reduced it to one year and eight months because of her early guilty plea.

The judge said she had considered, given the mitigating factors in the case, that Dolanska be given a suspended prison term and a community sentence, but the aggravating factors were too great.

After an earlier hearing at which Dolanska pleaded guilty, Mrs Radford's son Joseph Milton said: “She went into hospital with her injuries from the attack and never came home again. I am still distraught at what happened.”