Two nurses who admitted wilfully neglecting patients with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View hospital have been jailed.
Sookalingum Appoo, 58, of Dial Lane, Bristol, and Kelvin Fore, 33, of Ellesmere Walk, Middlesbrough, were each given six month sentences at Bristol Crown Court today.
Four healthcare support workers from Winterbourne View were also jailed while a further five received suspended sentences and unpaid community work.
Wayne Rogers, 32, admitted nine counts of ill-treating patients, and was jailed for two years, while Alison Dove and Graham Doyle were handed 20 months behind bars after they both pleaded guilty to seven charges of abuse. Holly Draper, 23, from Mangotsfield was sentenced to 12 months.
Sentencing, Judge Neil Ford QC said there was a “culture of cruelty” at the hospital for patients with learning disabilities and autism.
The abuse of patients at the hospital was exposed by the BBC’s Panorama programme after nurse Terry Bryan blew the whistle. His previous attempts to raise concerns with management and the Care Quality Commission were ignored.
A serious case review by South Gloucestershire Council found there was extensive misuse of physical restraint by nurses and support workers at the hospital which was owned and operated by Castlebeck Ltd.
Speaking after the sentencing, Avon and Somerset Police detective chief superintendent Louisa Rolfe, said: “Today, in sentencing these people, Judge Ford has recognised the inhumanity of their behaviour.
“There are no words to describe the horrific, vindictive treatment these offenders meted out to the vulnerable young adults of Winterbourne View.
“They and their loved ones should have felt safe and secure in the knowledge they were being well cared for. Instead these vulnerable young people were subjected to the most extreme and persistent abuse.”