Prosecutors call for severe sentences for Winterbourne View 11
PROSECUTORS are calling for severe sentences for those who have pleaded guilty to ill treating patients at the Winterbourne View care home.
The last member of an 11-strong group pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court, meaning there will now not be a trial in the case, which was sparked by an investigation by the BBC's Panorama programme last year.
Michael Ezenagu, 29, of White City, London, had denied abuse charges and was set to stand trial, but pleaded guilty to two charges of ill treating a woman patient in a dramatic turnaround at Bristol Crown Court.
Instead of a high-profile court case, the spotlight will now be focused on a massive sentencing hearing involving all defendants, projected to last as long as five days, including the showing of secret filming and testimony from an undercover reporter.
Dyson DC50i - Bagless upright vacuum cleaner - BALL Technology -...View details
Thisi is Dyson's smallest upright vacuum cleaner with the performance of a full size upright machine. The DC50i has Dyson's most advanced cleaner head technology and 2 Tier RadialTM cyclones.
Terms: LIMITED STOCK OFFER. FREE delivery to most UK postcodes - Next working day dispatch.
Contact: 01664 491439
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
And a parent of a patient initially thought to have been a victim told the Post: "I can't even comment on how I feel against them. I hope they get their just deserts. I hope the judge gives them the maximum possible sentence that he can give."
Avon and Somerset police made arrests after secret filming by Panorama showed vulnerable adults at Winterbourne View, in Bradley Stoke, apparently being punched, slapped and taunted by carers.
The private hospital was closed by its owners after undercover footage appeared to show vulnerable residents being pinned down, doused in water and taunted.
Ann Reddrop, head of the Crown Prosecution Service's South West Complex Casework Unit, said: "Safety and security, and the ability to live free from fear and harassment, are fundamental human rights. The kind of offending that took place at Winterbourne View undermined these rights in an appalling and systematically brutal way.
"The CPS has treated these as disability hate crimes, which we regard as particularly serious. Disability hate crimes are based on ignorance, prejudice and hate. Disabled people can be victims of crime due to their perceived vulnerability, particularly where there is an unequal relationship such as where the offender is the victim's carer.
"At Winterbourne View, people who should have been able to trust their carers had that trust cruelly and repeatedly abused.
"The CPS will ask Judge Ford QC to take account of the fact that these are disability hate crimes when determining the sentence for the defendants. As such he is able to impose an uplift in sentence to reflect the seriousness of this type of crime."
Detective Chief Superintendent Louisa Rolfe said: "I wish to acknowledge the support and patience of the victims and their families throughout our inquiry. We were shocked by the Panorama programme, as many people were. The voice of the victim has been central to our investigation into this case.
"The investigation has always been about the criminal actions of 11 individuals working at Winterbourne View. The Serious Case Review, published today will consider all other concerns regarding this hospital.
"The 11 individuals abused the trust of victims and that of their relatives and friends. They have all pleaded guilty to criminal offences of ill treatment and neglect as detailed within the Mental Health Act.
"Had it not been for the actions of individuals who raised concerns about the neglect and cruelty suffered by victims, this wholly unacceptable behaviour would have continued unchecked.
"We now await sentencing which will bring the criminal justice process to a final conclusion."
The group of 11 carers were charged with some 45 counts alleging ill treatment or neglect against five victims in February and March last year.
Charlotte Cotterell, 22, of Melrose Avenue, Yate, pleaded guilty to ill treating a woman patient.
Alison Dove, 25, of Chipperfield Drive, Kingswood, pleaded guilty to ill treating two women patients and five ill treatments of another woman patient.
Wayne Rogers, 32, of Purton Close, Kingswood, pleaded guilty to nine counts of ill treatment involving two women and a man.
Neil Ferguson, 27, of Guest Avenue, Emersons Green, admitted ill treating a patient but denied ill treating a woman on March 13.
Sookalingum Appoo, a 59-year-old nurse, of Dial Lane, Downend, admitted three counts of wilfully neglecting a woman patient.
Kelvin Fore, a nurse, 33, of Ellesmere Walk, Middlesbrough, admitted wilfully neglecting a woman patient but denied a similar charge.
Jason Gardiner, 43, of Mellent Avenue, Hartcliffe, admitted ill treating a man and a woman patient on one occasion.
Graham Doyle, 26, of Bradley Road, Patchway, denied wilful neglect of one woman patient and ill treating a man patient once but admitted ill treating a woman on seven occasions.
Daniel Brake, 27, of Beechen Drive, Fishponds, admitted ill treating a man and a woman patient on consecutive days.
Holly Draper, 23, of The Old Orchard, Mangotsfield, pleaded guilty to two charges of ill treating a woman patient.
All 11 defendants have been granted bail with the condition that they are not allowed to work or seek work with vulnerable people.
The sentencing date is due to be fixed this Friday.