UK & World News
Winterbourne View Abuse: Ex-Carers Jailed
Six members of staff caught abusing vulnerable residents at a care home by anundercover 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 care home, 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 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 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 and the programme was 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 care watchdogs failed to act on repeated warnings of "inhumane, cruel and hate-fuelled treatment" of patients.
"The so-called restraint techniques were used to inflict pain, humiliate patients and bully them into compliance with the demands of their carers."
Among the hours of graphic footage played to the court during the sentencing hearing was support worker Wayne Rogers telling a patient: "Do you want me to get a cheese grater and grate your face off?"
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.
The court was packed with members of the victims' families and journalists to see Judge Neil Ford QC, The Recorder of Bristol, pass sentence on the 11.
"A culture of ill-treatment developed and, as is often the case, cruelty bred cruelty," he said.
"This culture corrupted and debased, to varying degrees, these defendants, all of whom are of previous good character."
Beverley Dawkins, policy manager for Mencap, issued a statement on behalf of the victims' families.
"In the 21st century, places like Winterbourne View should not exist," she said.
Care and Support minister Norman Lamb said the case revealed the "criminal and inhuman acts some so-called care workers are capable of".
Jason Gardiner, 43, was one of five support workers at the scandal-hit home who escaped immediate jail sentences.
He apologised for his actions outside the 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 told reporters.
"I've apologised all the way through and I've taken full responsibility for everything I have done."
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what do you think?
Hi watched this documentary and I was sick to the pit of my stomach ! They behaved re cruelly and laughed beautify were doing ! Th!re poor residents suffered each and every day cutie hands of these people employed to care and protect them . I cried for hours after watching it . Jail is too good for these animals !!!! I hope karma catches up with them and gives them all a taste of their own medicine . Vile cruel horrible sadistic beings !!!!!
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And I hope they loose the key to the cell
Good for terry brayan
Vile inhumane animals will hopefully rot in hell.
So what were the length of the sentences?
stephen there you go again its not allowed thanks to the EU and remember they have Human Rights thanks to Tony Blair and then the EU :-)
hanging was abolished in the 60s not Blair r eu
Lee Wright Addy
Blue side is right - The 13th protocol prevents us from re envoking the death penalty ( EU c-rap that Labour signed ). The death penalty could still be used even in the nineties for special circumstances - but never was.
for me people who prey on the weak; children, old people, and disabled. deserve the guillotine
Ali I dont always agree with you but this time your bang on the button
Care work is not easy. Carers are often shouted at, thumped, kicked, threatened with lethal attacks, sworn at and the people they are caring for often refuse to take medicines. Some of the situations carers find themselves in can lead very easily to incorrect or seemingly incorrect behaviour due to all these reasons. Care work is traditionally not extremely well paid and during these harsh economic times, there are many stresses on most peoples' minds. I think, before everyone suddenly condemns care workers, they should understand, firstly, what that very difficult work actually involves. I have not watched the documentary, I don't know the full details of it but these are my thoughts on care work, overall. Naturally, I don't agree with physical or verbal abuse of people or even animals being cared for but I think the above factors should always be considered.
Adrian some of the covert video was well beyond reaction as the parties seemed to get a kick out of it. My late mother had to go into care and at the end there were a number of issues - I shall bear the guilt of agreeing to it till my last breath.
You make several valid points Adrian and much of what you say is true regarding the situations that many care workers find themselves in. However, having seen clips of this documentary, there really is no excuse for what these so called people did to those in their care. My late Mother spent some years in a care home and received nothing but good treatment from those in charge. We were doubt fortunate but it can be done if those in charge really do care.
all i will say is if they think this is a easy job let them try it
If they cannot handle the job then they should have got out. There is NO excuse for that behaviour
i agree that what we seen on t.v was a bit to far and yes they deserve jail,,but a lot of people out there should have a stint working in care from teenagers.to mental and O.A.P with dementia.then some would be in jail with them,,people in care get away with assault being racist .and a lot more,,if these people were not in care and were doing the same out in the street they would be jailed...from expereance working in care is one of the mosy difficult jobs today.and takes aspecial person to do this job,,and what was showen on T.V. these were not the people,,
I agree with those who say it's a hard and challenging job but all who do this type of work should be and most are police checked, maybe they should be checked in the head too. Don't do a job you find that stressfull/hard that it turns you into a Evil Monster! and I know jobs are scarce but there is no excuse for that type of behaviour. I work in a high school and although working with teenagers can be very trying i would never ever raise my hand or shout at any of them let alone any of the things these people did.
I too was a carer for quite a few years and yes, it can be hard work, taking physical and verbal abuse from people who seemingly dont want your help. HOWEVER, this is no excuse for the torment these vile animals put these vulnrable elderly people through on a daily basis. Unfortunetly, it only takes one bad group to demonise all the brilliant care workers who do make people lives a little better.
They'll be out by Friday then.
Don't be so silly Peter, they need time to organise the Centerparcs outing.
I think they should have hidden cameras up in these homes, and footage regularly checked, to make sure patients are not I'll treated.
Windows Live User
Wouldnt it be good if Orange told us exactly who got what? Did anything happen to the Darlington based company?
People who work in such climates are given training on non-violent ways to restrain violent patients (my brother works in a similar place). There's no excuse for what they did.
Disgusting. Looking at the pictures of these so called "carers" they don't look as though they have gone very far forward in Darwin's scale of evolution.
It should be remembered that a lot of inmates have elderly people in care homes,word gets round inside and these animals will get a warm reception
they all look a bunch of low-lifes in their pictures
The way these people dealt with those in their care is nothing short of scandalous and they deserve everything they get. However as others on here mention caring in this type of situation is not easy and in my opinion requires a special type of person which this crowd were obviously not. My father had dementia and there were several occasions where I could happily have murdered him. So before we condemn them entirely put yourself in their shoes for a time