Newport doctor charged with care home neglect dies

Dr Prana Das
Image caption Prana Das was attacked in his home in September 2012

A doctor who was at the centre of of one of Wales' biggest inquiries into neglect and fraud at care homes has died without ever facing trial.

Prana Das, 73, had faced charges relating to neglect at Brithdir Care Home in New Tredegar, Caerphilly, and The Beeches in Blaenavon, Torfaen.

But he was left unfit to go to court after suffering a brain injury during a burglary at his home in Langstone, Newport, in September 2012.

All charges remained on file.

The £11.6m investigation spanned seven years, involved 75 police staff and 4,126 statements were taken.

Puretruce Health Care, of which Dr Das was a director, had been charged with two counts of failure to discharge a duty to ensure residents at Brithdir Care Home were not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

Dr Das was charged with two counts of consenting or conniving to a failure to discharge a duty as a director at Puretruce, these failures being attributable to neglect.

He was also accused of theft relating to three cheques totalling £23,080.65 due to Woodstock Limited for work carried out and four counts of false accounting totalling £314,656.65.

He died on 8 January.


Image copyright Gwent Police
Image caption Edward Donovan and Rhiannon Gibbons were jailed for 15 and 10 years respectively for the attack on Dr Das and his wife

Dr Das suffered his brain injury in September 2012 when two people broke into his house in an incident unconnected to the care home inquiry.

He and his wife, Nishebita Das, were in bed when Edward Donovan, 51, and Rhiannon Gibbons, 27, broke in to their home.

Dr Das was hit over the head and suffered a brain injury, while Donovan and Gibbons escaped with £100,000 worth of possessions.

Donovan was jailed for 15 years and Gibbons for 10 after being found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent and unlawful wounding in relation to Prana Das.

They were also found guilty of actual bodily harm in relation to Nishebita Das and two counts of robbery in a trial in 2013.

Further inquests

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Dr Das was a director of Puretruce Health Care

In 2005, Gwent Police investigated six care homes in south Wales as part of Operation Jasmine and identified 100 alleged victims.

The inquiry was launched after the death of an 84-year-old patient at a nursing home in Newbridge and led to charges against Dr Das.

Inquests into the deaths of some of the residents at his nursing homes are still due to be held.

Pre-inquest hearings took place last autumn into the deaths of Dorothea Hale, Evelyn Jones, Stanley Bradford and Edith Evans.

They died at two homes - Ms Hale at Bargoed's Grovesnor Nursing Home and the others at Brithdir.

A jury inquest is expected to be arranged and Coroner Geraint Williams said he would review whether the state bore any responsibility for the deaths of residents.

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