22 charged with care homes abuse

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Published: Tuesday 28th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Senior managers and staff at three care homes in Devon have appeared in court accused of abusing residents.

A total of 22 workers attended Exeter Magistrates’ Court charged with offences relating to the Veilstone, Gatooma and Teignmead homes, which were all run by Atlas Project Team Ltd.

The 13 women and nine men faced 86 charges, relating to 11 charges of ill-treatment and 75 charges of false imprisonment.

Two further workers have been summoned to appear at the court next week to answer charges of ill-treating a patient and false imprisonment.

The homes, in north and south Devon, cared for adults with learning disabilities and were closed in 2012 following inspections by the Care Quality Commission.

District Judge Stephen Nicholls committed the case to Exeter Crown Court, where the defendants will next appear on November 21.

“You are going to be sent to Exeter Crown Court to appear on Friday November 21 at 10am,” the judge said.

“If you fail to attend on that date a warrant for your arrest will be issued.”

The first group to face the court were seven senior managers from the care homes, who were charged by Devon and Cornwall Police last month with separate offences of false imprisonment and ill-treating patients.

The seven are: :: Victoria Cobbett, 25, of Meddon Street, Bideford; Paul Hewitt, 68, of The Dell, Lindridge, Teignmouth; Russell Hewitt, 40, of The Dell, Lindridge, Teignmouth; Jolyon Marshall, 39, of South Street, South Molton; Rachel Marshall, 29, of South Street, South Molton; Timothy Stevens, 43, of Buckland Brewer, Bideford; Emma Turner, 27, of The Dell, Lindridge, Teignmouth .

The offences, which allege the seven conspired together, are said to have been committed between December 31 2009 and January 1 2012.

All seven were released on conditional bail.

A further 15 members of staff also appeared before the same court to answer summonses for offences of false imprisonment. Four of the staff also face a charge of ill-treating a patient. They are:

Julie Barlow, 50, of Lime Grove, Bideford who is accused of four offences of false imprisonment;

:: Simon Beechey, 38, of Kipling Court, Kipling Terrace, Westward Ho, Bideford, who is accused of four offences of false imprisonment;

:: Dawn Bond, 46, of Moorview, Bradworthy, Holsworthy who is accused of four offences of false imprisonment;

:: Camilla Cameron, 23, of Paradise Park, Whitstone, Holsworthy who is accused of ill-treating a patient and two offences of false imprisonment;

:: Lucy Cawsey, 26, of Paradise Row, Lundy Island, Bideford, who is accused of ill-treating a patient and three offences of false imprisonment;

:: Sarah Eke, 40, of Holmdene, Underlane, Holsworthy, who is accused of five offences of false imprisonment;

:: Lee Farrant, 28, of Hanson Park, Northam, Bideford, who is accused of ill-treating a patient and seven offences of false imprisonment;

:: Aaron Jones, 32, of Paradise Row, Lundy Island, Bideford, who is accused of five offences of false imprisonment;

:: Christine Kent, 55, of Station Road, Okehampton, who is accused of seven offences of false imprisonment;

:: James Lawson, 39, of Kimberley Park, Northam, Bideford, who is accused of ill-treating a patient and eight offences of false imprisonment;

:: Chloe Massey-Caines, 25, of Combeside, Backwell, Bristol, who is accused of three offences of false imprisonment;

:: Alison Palmer, 41, of Coombe End, Holsworthy, who is accused of two offences of false imprisonment;

:: Mark Pilbrow, 35, of Ladywell, Pilton, Barnstaple, who is accused of six offences of false imprisonment;

:: Lisa Pluckrose, 45, of Fulford Close, Bideford, who is accused of four offences of false imprisonment;

:: Natasha Stapleton, 40, of Parkes Road, Torrington, who is accused of four offences of false imprisonment.

Speaking after the case, Detective Inspector Steve White, of Devon and Cornwall Police, called the case “unique”.

“This case is unique in terms of the number of suspects, the complex needs of the victims and the volume of investigation material.

“It has and continues to involve many partners and agencies and we will continue to work together to support those affected as this judicial process continues.”

Published: Tuesday 28th October 2014 by The News Editor

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