Registered nurse convicted of assaulting RFBI West Wyalong Masonic Village resident

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Paul Joseph McGilligan has been convicted after pleading guilty to assaulting a resident of the 63-bed RFBI West Wyalong Masonic Village, also known as the Waratah Village aged care home, 467km west of Sydney’s CBD.

The male resident, 86, was found by staff lying next to his bed on 14 October 2020. McGilligan was called in to the room to assist when he knelt next to the victim and asked the victim if he was okay. The elderly man began swearing and grabbed McGilligan’s lanyard from around his neck and swung at McGilligan, hitting his chin.

NSW Police facts tendered to the Wagga Wagga Local Court state that McGilligan said: “Don’t you bloody hit me” before punching the victim in the jaw, leaving a red mark.

McGilligan then told the other staff members, “You don’t need to worry about any documentation and there will be no incident report put in about this,” according to court documents.

McGilligan’s lawyer told the court the 57-year-old worked in aged care since 2002 and has been a registered nurse since 2012, however has struggled to find work after he was fired as a result of the incident.

“A clear message needs to be sent to those charged with looking after our community’s vulnerable people,” Magistrate Christopher Halburd said.

“In my view it would be entirely inappropriate to not record a conviction.”

The 57-year-old was also fined $1,000 for the assault.