Essex

Kenneth Ibbetson: Bupa fine over Legionnaire's death halved

Kenneth Ibbetson and his wife Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Kenneth Ibbetson moved to the care home after the death of his wife, Marjorie

Private care provider Bupa has won an appeal against a £3m fine over the death of pensioner at a nursing home.

Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, died after contracting Legionnaire's disease at Hutton Village care home in Brentwood, Essex, in June 2015.

Bupa Care Homes (BNH) Ltd was fined last year at Ipswich Crown Court after it admitted health and safety breaches.

The fine was cut to £1.5m after judges ruled BNH's parent company profits were wrongly taken into account.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Mr Ibbetson died after contracting Legionnaire's disease from the tap of his bathroom in 2015

The crown court hearing was told that samples taken from taps in Mr Ibbetson's ensuite bathroom found there was a high concentration of the bacteria in the water.

Retired businessman Mr Ibbetson moved into the home in March 2015 three years after the death of his wife Marjorie, but within weeks he complained of feeling unwell.

He was diagnosed with a lung infection and died at Basildon Hospital.

The crown court judge concluded the most likely cause of the infection was the failure to flush and disinfect pipes following refurbishment work.

Image copyright Ibbetson Family
Image caption Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, died at Hutton Village Care Home in south Essex

On Friday, Mr Justice Julian Knowles, sitting with two other judges at the Court of Appeal, said: "The defendant in this case was Bupa Care Homes and the offence in question arose out of its breaches of duty.

"It did not delegate these to its parent. It alone bore criminal liability."

The judge said nothing in the ruling was "intended to minimise the loss" that Mr Ibbotson's family have suffered.

After the original hearing Mr Ibbetson's daughter Caroline Peters said Bupa had finally been "brought to justice."

"The sentence imposed," she said, "will not bring our father back, but Bupa are now facing the consequences of their failings."

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