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Carer of woman who died in her own excrement didn’t have proper clearance

Rosemary Maione
Rosemary Maione Image credit:

A carer of a severely disabled woman from Adelaide, Australia, who was left to rot to death in her own excrement had no proper clearance for her role.

Ann-Marie Smith was confined to her cane chair, which she had to use as a toilet, for over a year despite having home care six hours every day from Rosemary Maione.

The 54-year-old, who had cerebral palsy, died on April 6 at the The Royal Adelaide Hospital of multiple organ failure and septic shock.

She was admitted the day before after she was found at her Kensington Park in a semi-conscious state.

When Malone (pictured above) arrived in hospital she underwent surgery to have rotten flesh removed from her body before being moved into palliative care.

On Tuesday State Human Minister Michelle Lensink said Maione had not received a valid disability services employment clearance which became law in 2014.

He said: 'I understand that it would be for a six or seven-year period that she hasn't been working with a clearance.

'Since 2014, all disability workers have been required to have a clearance.'

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission investigated the death with SA Police.

Malone was sacked from her role at Integrity Carer CA for ‘serious and wilful misconduct’, the care provider was fined $12,600 for not notifying the NDIS of Smith’s death within 24 hours and was threatened closure by South Australia Premier Steven Marshall.

NDIS Commissioner Graeme Head said: 'Reporting serious incidents to the NDIS Commission is a critical safeguarding mechanism for people with disability.'

Detective Superintendent Des Bray said: 'Ann was living her days and sleeping at night in the same woven-comb chair in her lounge room for over a year.

'That chair became her toilet, and there was no fridge and investigators were unable to locate any nutritional food in the house.'

He went on to say Smith died in ‘disgusting circumstances’.

A statement from Integrity Care read: 'We trusted our carer and believe that we have been completely misled by her.'

'Integrity Care SA extends its heartfelt sympathy to Ms Smith's family and encourages anyone with relevant information or concerns to contact Crime Stoppers or the NDIS.'

Anne-Marie Smith was a client of Disability SA but transitioned over to the NDIS in 2018.