Orchid View Care Home neglect inquiry: Man held over death

Orchid View Orchid View was operated by Southern Cross Healthcare

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Detectives investigating alleged neglect at a West Sussex care home have arrested a man in connection with the death of a resident.

Sussex Police arrested the 28-year-old at HMP Dartmoor, where he is serving a prison term for an unrelated matter.

The arrest relates to the death of Jean Halfpenny, 89, in 2010, at Orchid View care home in Copthorne.

The care home has since closed and reopened under a new name and new management, Sussex Police said.

Officers said the man arrested on Tuesday had been questioned by Sussex officers in the Devon and Cornwall force area on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Medication concern

Southern Cross, which operated Orchid View, closed the home last year following allegations of ill-treatment and neglect.

Sussex Police began an investigation into the care home, near Crawley, which was home to 11 residents with dementia.

At the time, police said they were investigating allegations relating to a small number of residents and the "potential misapplication of medication".

Three people were arrested in September and October 2011.

A 41-year-old woman from Crawley and a 55-year-old woman from South Godstone in Surrey have been bailed until 10 November pending further inquiries.

A 49-year-old man from Burgess Hill has also been bailed until 1 November pending further inquiries.

Sussex Police have visited the families of all the former care home residents who where the subject of this investigation.

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