‘Gross breach of trust and power’ – 11 care workers sentenced for abuse
THE families of the victims of a care-home scandal have demanded government action to ensure there can be no repeat of the type of abuse that led to 11 members of staff receiving jail sentences yesterday.
• Six workers jailed over abuse, five others receive suspended sentences
• Abuse discovered following BBC Panorama investigation
• Judge says Winterbourne View “run with scandalous lack of regard to patients”
The workers at the private hospital Winterbourne View, in Hambrook, South Gloucestershire, were sentenced for their roles in the “gross breach of trust and power” against vulnerable adults supposedly in their care, following an exposé by an
A judge at Bristol Crown Court yesterday jailed six of the workers – including two nurses – immediately, with the five others receiving suspended prison terms.
Beverley Dawkins, of Mencap, spoke on behalf of the families and said: “We sincerely hope that the government will seize this unique opportunity with both hands to actually enforce existing policy and enshrine some of those changes in law.
“In the 21st century, places like Winterbourne View should not exist, they should be closed and more local services developed.”
Care and support minister Norman Lamb pledged to publish the UK government’s report into the scandal very soon.
“It has shone a light on major flaws in the system which we will address,” he said. “I want this case to reinforce to everyone, from frontline workers to regulators, managers and board members, that they have a shared responsibility in preventing abuse of the vulnerable.”
One of the care workers, Jason Gardiner, apologised for his
behaviour as he left court.
“At the time it was misguided, I was trying to do the right thing and I ended up doing wrong and I would apologise for that,” he said.
“All I can do is apologise for what happened, and I really never meant any harm to anybody and that is heartfelt.”
The owner of Winterbourne View, Darlington-based Castlebeck Ltd, said huge changes had taken place within the company since the abuse was exposed.
Avon and Somerset Police are continuing to investigate other possible cases of residents being abused by staff at the hospital.
Support workers Wayne Rogers, Alison Dove, Graham Doyle, Gardiner, Michael Ezenagu, Danny Brake, Charlotte Cotterell, Holly Draper and Neil Ferguson were caught out in a sting by a reporter with a hidden camera posing as a carer.
Nurses Sookalingum Appoo and Kelvin Fore were filmed condoning the abuse by failing to stop it.
Journalist Joseph Casey had got a job at Winterbourne View after whistleblower Terry Bryan, a former nurse at the home, went to the BBC’s Panorama after his complaints to Castlebeck and care watchdogs were ignored.
His shocking footage showed residents being slapped, soaked in water, trapped under chairs, taunted, sworn at and having their hair pulled, eyes poked and being illegally restrained.
On one occasion, three support workers held down a resident while a nurse forced paracetamol into her mouth.
Five residents, Simone Blake, Simon Tovey, Louise Bissett, Louisa Deville and Lorraine Guildford, suffered greatly at the hands of the defendants.
Among the hours of graphic footage played to the court was Rogers telling Miss Blake: “Do you want me to get a cheese grater and grate your face off? Do you want me to turn you into a giant pepperoni?”
He also slapped Mr Tovey across the cheek and told him: “Do you want a scrap? Do you want a fight? Go on and I will bite your bloody face off.”
The full list of sentences for the 11 defendants;
• Wayne Rogers, 32, of Kingswood, jailed for two years after admitting nine charges of ill-treatment.
• Alison Dove, 25, of Kingswood, was jailed for 20 months for seven counts of abuse;
• Graham Doyle, 26, of Patchway, was jailed for 20 months for seven counts of abuse;
• Nurse Sookalingum Appoo, 59, of Downend jailed for six months for wilfully neglecting patients;
• Nurse Kelvin Fore, 33, from Middlesbrough, also jailed for six months for wilfully neglecting patients;
• Holly Laura Draper, 24, of Mangotsfield, pleaded guilty to two charges of abuse and was jailed for 12 months;
• Daniel Brake, 27, of Downend, pleaded guilty to two charges of abuse and was given a six month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work;
• Charlotte Justine Cotterell, 22, from Yate, pleaded guilty to one charge of abuse and was given a four-month jail term suspended for two years. Cotterell was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and complete 12 months supervision;
• Michael Ezenagu, 29, from Shepherds Bush, west London, admitted two counts of abuse and was given a six month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work;
• Neil Ferguson, 28, of Emerson Green, admitted one count of abuse and was given a six month jail term was suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work;
• Jason Gardiner, 43, of Hartcliffe, who admitted two charges of abuse, was given a four month jail term was suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
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