Date set for sentencing of carers in abuse scandal

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A DATE was fixed yesterday for the sentencing of staff caught on camera abusing patients at a care home at the centre of a TV investigation.

The shocking treatment of severely disabled people at the 
Winterbourne View private 
hospital in Hambrook, South Gloucestershire, was exposed last year by BBC1’s Panorama.

Its undercover five-week investigation, broadcast in June last year, recorded secret footage of patients being abused by carers.

The video showed frail and confused residents being forcibly pinned down, slapped, soaked in water, trapped under 
chairs, taunted and having 
their hair pulled and eyes
poked.

A serious case review published this week condemned the hospital’s owner, Castlebeck, for putting profits before care.

The damning independent report heavily criticised health regulators, police, social services and the NHS for failing to spot the warning signs about the abuse at the now closed Winterbourne View.

A total of 11 former staff have between them admitted 38 charges of either neglect or ill treatment of people with severe learning difficulties.

Yesterday at Bristol Crown Court, Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, said the sentencing hearing would begin on October 22 and could last up to five days.

Sentencing was fixed after the 11th member of staff, Michael Ezenagu, pleaded guilty on Monday to two of the five charges he faced.

The other care workers had already admitted their roles in the abuse of the residents.

The 11 defendants are:

Michael Ezenagu, 29, of, Shepherds Bush, west London, pleaded guilty to two counts of ill-treating Miss Blake. He denied two further of ill-treating the same patient and a third similar charge against Mr Tovey. The prosecution have accepted the pleas and he will not face trial.

Graham Doyle, 26, pleaded guilty to seven charges of ill-treating Simone Blake. However, he denied charges of wilfully neglecting Lorraine Guilford and ill-treating Simon Tovey. The prosecution have accepted the pleas and he will not face trial.

Jason Gardiner, 43, of Bristol, admitted two charges of ill-treating Louisa Deville and Mr Tovey.

Danny Brake, 27, of Bristol, also pleaded guilty to two charges of ill-treating Miss Blake and Mr Tovey.

Sookalingum Appoo, 59, of Bristol, admitted three charges of wilfully neglecting Miss Blake.

Wayne Rogers, 31, of Bristol, pleaded guilty to nine charges of ill-treating Louisa Deville, Mr Tovey and Miss Blake. He denied a charge of ill-treating Louise Bisset, which was accepted by the prosecution and he will not face trial.

Alison Dove, 25, of Bristol, pleaded guilty to seven charges of ill-treating Miss Guilford, Miss Bisset and Miss Blake. She pleaded not guilty to ill-treating Mr Tovey, which was accepted by the prosecution and she will not face trial.

Holly Draper, 23, , Bristol, pleaded guilty to two charges of ill-treating Miss Blake.

Charlotte Cotterell, 22, of Bristol, pleaded guilty to one charge of ill-treating Miss Blake. She denied a second charge against the same victim, which was accepted by the prosecution and she will not face trial.

Neil Ferguson, 27, of Bristol, pleaded guilty to one count of ill-treating Miss Blake. He denied a second charge of ill-treating the same patient, which the prosecution accepted and he will not face trial.

Kelvin Fore, 33, of Ellesmere Walk, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to one charge of wilfully neglecting Miss Blake but denied a second allegation against the same person, which was accepted by the prosecution and he will not face trial.

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