Former Nailsea schoolgirl jailed for abuse at care home

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By Carol_Deacon | Sunday, October 28, 2012, 12:31

A former pupil at a Nailsea school was among the care home workers who were sentenced this week for  ill-treating a vulnerable residents.

Bristol Crown Court was told that Holly Draper had been known as a caring youngster and it was 'inexplicable' that she had got involved with the incidents of abuse captured by an undercover television reporter at Winterbourne View residential hospital near Bradley Stoke.

Draper, aged 24, admitted four charges of ill-treatment and was jailed for 12 months for 'sustained and unpleasant bullying'.

Noel Sweeney, defending Draper, said that, 10, his client had won an award at her junior school in Nailsea, for being the kindest pupil.

Mr Sweeney said his client was a caring person who had looked after a seven-year-old autistic child when she was aged 16.

He said Draper had no training for her job at Winterbourne View and was 'sucked into the vacuum of the Castlebeck culture' where patients were seen as 'walking dollar signs'.

Six members of staff were jailed on Wednesday for their part in the institutional abuse at the private hospital.

They were given sentences ranging from two years to six months, while another five workers escaped with suspended sentences.

Posing as a care worker, reporter Joe Casey recorded footage of residents being slapped, soaked in water, trapped under chairs, taunted, sworn at and having their hair pulled and eyes poked. 

Nine support workers and two nurses operated in 'groups', humiliating the young adult patients who they regarded as 'playthings'.

Castlebeck, the owner of the 26-bed hospital with a turnover of £3.7million, was paid an average of £3,500 a week for each patient.

Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, described Winterbourne View as an 'institution in which systematic abuse' of vulnerable people took place.

He said: 'The hospital was run with a view to profit and with a scandalous lack of regard to the interests of its residents and staff.

'A culture of ill-treatment developed and, as is often the case, cruelty bred cruelty.

'This culture corrupted and debased, to varying degrees, the defendants.'

Ringleader Wayne Rogers, 32, admitted nine offences of ill-treatment and was jailed for two years. His behaviour was said to be of a 'particularly cruel nature.' 

Alison Dove, 25, admitted seven offences of ill-treatment and was jailed for 20 months.

Graham Doyle, 26, admitted seven charges of ill-treatment and was jailed for 20 months. His behaviour was said to be 'cruel, callous and degrading'.

Nurse Sookalingum Appoo, 59, admitted three charges of wilful neglect and was jailed for six months. He repeatedly failed to intervene.

Kelvin Fore, 33, was jailed for six months for one charge of wilful neglect. The charge nurse failed to report abuse. 

Former prison officer Jason Gardiner, 43, and Danny Brake, 27, admitted two charges of ill-treatment and were sentenced to a four-month suspended jail term and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Michael Ezenagu, 29, admitted two offences of ill-treatment and was given a six-month suspended jail term and 200 hours unpaid work. 

Neil Ferguson, 28, was given the same sentence for one charge of ill-treatment.

Charlotte Cotterell, 22, admitted one charge of ill-treatment and given a four-month suspended sentence and 150 hours unpaid work.

An independent report into the scandal, published in August, lambasted the local NHS, police and health watchdogs for not acting on dozens of complaints by patients and their families.

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.

      

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