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Care home staff jailed for cruelty
A Panorama investigation exposed abuse at Winterbourne View private hospital in Hambrook, South Gloucestershire
Six members of staff caught abusing vulnerable residents at a care home by an undercover journalist have been jailed.
Five others were given suspended sentences by a judge at Bristol Crown Court, who condemned the abuse they meted out to disabled patients at the Winterbourne View private hospital at Hambrook, South Gloucestershire.
The 11 - nine support workers and two nurses - were caught in a BBC Panorama sting by a reporter with a hidden camera posing as a carer. His shocking footage showed residents being slapped, soaked in water, trapped under chairs, taunted, sworn at and having their hair pulled and eyes poked. On one occasion, three support workers forcibly held down a resident while a nurse forced paracetamol into her mouth.
Whistleblower Terry Bryan, a former nurse at the home, went to the BBC with his concerns after his complaints to owner Castlebeck and care watchdogs were ignored.
Journalist Joseph Carey recorded shocking footage during a five-week investigation in February and March last year, with the programme being shown the following June. A serious case review published in August criticised Darlington-based Castlebeck Ltd, which owned the hospital, for putting profits before humanity.
Prosecutor Kerry Barker said the 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 during the sentencing hearing was support worker Wayne 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?"
Colleague Alison Dove said Miss Blake "loved pain" and then told her: "Simone, come here and I'll punch your face." On another occasion, Dove, Graham Doyle and Holly Draper restrained Miss Blake as Sookalingum Appoo forced paracetamol into her mouth.
Barristers representing the 11 defendants apologised on behalf of their clients but blamed the culture of Castlebeck - calling it a "disease", a "cancer" and a "fog" that had engulfed Winterbourne View.
Rogers, 32, was jailed for two years; Dove, 25, and Doyle, 26, were each jailed for 20 months; and Draper, 24, was jailed for 12 months. Appoo, 59, and Kelvin Fore, 33, were each jailed for six months. Jason Gardiner, 43, Michael Ezenagu, 29, Danny Brake, 27, Charlotte Cotterell, 22, and Neil Ferguson, 28, were handed suspended sentences.