Winterbourne View: Sentencing of care workers begins

image captionThe 11 care workers were detained after secret filming by the BBC's Panorama at Winterbourne View, near Bristol

The sentencing of 11 care workers who admitted maltreating patients at a private hospital has begun at Bristol Crown Court.

The defendants were detained after secret filming by BBC Panorama at Winterbourne View, near Bristol.

They face 38 charges of either neglect or ill-treatment of people with severe learning difficulties.

Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, said the sentencing hearing could last up to five days.

Earlier the court dealt only with Wayne Rogers, 31, of Kingswood, the most senior support worker to be charged.

Rogers has already pleaded guilty to nine charges of ill treating five patients. He is currently in jail after asking for his bail to be cancelled.

In court, Rogers' barrister Giles Nelson said his client accepted there was no excuse for his conduct and that an "atmosphere of conflict had spread like a disease".

He said Rogers had pleaded guilty "at the earliest possible opportunity" and said his client "genuinely does not recognise himself" on the footage shown to the court.

'Grotesque behaviour'

"He knows he will be perceived as someone behaving in a grotesque way. He accepts there is no excuse for his conduct," he said.

During five weeks spent filming undercover, a Panorama reporter captured footage of some of the hospital's most vulnerable patients being repeatedly pinned down, slapped, dragged into showers while fully clothed, taunted and teased.

image captionWinterbourne View has since been bought by Glenside Manor Healthcare Services

A serious case review published in August condemned the hospital's owner Castlebeck for putting profits before care.

Castlebeck said the criticisms in the report were being "actively addressed".

The other 10 defendants are:

Michael Ezenagu, 29, from Shepherds Bush, west London; Alison Dove, 24, of Kingswood; Graham Doyle, 25, of Patchway; Jason Gardiner, 44, of Hartcliffe; Daniel Brake, 27, of Downend; Holly Laura Draper, 23, of Mangotsfield; Charlotte Justine Cotterell, 21, from Yate and Neil Ferguson, 27, of Emerson Green have all admitted ill-treating patients in their care.

Sooaklingum Appoo, 58, of Downend, and Kelvin Fore, 33, from Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to wilfully neglecting patients in their care.

Dove requested to remain in custody but the remaining nine defendants were released on bail by Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol.

The sentencing hearing was adjourned until tomorrow.

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