The Independent has also learnt that groups of mentally handicapped residents were put to work on his house, and that of his son Nigel, who is currently managing the care homes. Despite the allegations of abuse, Buckinghamshire County Council has allowed them to remain open. It claims Nigel Rowe has improved their management. It has, however, stated that if there is evidence that Mr Rowe was aware of abuse, the decision would be reconsidered.
Mr Rowe's neighbours in Harrington Close, an exclusive cul-de-sac in Windsor, Berkshire, awoke yesterday to find buckets of black paint had been thrown at his large detached home and the word 'scum' etched in huge letters on to the front wall. The pounds 200,000, eight-bedroom house, is next door to that of his son Nigel. Mr Rowe applied unsuccessfully for planning permission last year to erect an external fire escape.
Neighbours signed a petition against the request claiming he intended to open another residential home. Mr Rowe denied this. He did, however, obtain permission to build a variety of extensions.
Neighbours and former members of staff have confirmed that some of this work was carried out by residents of his two care homes. They have also claimed that residents worked on Nigel Rowe's house.
'I saw one of them work full-time at Nigel's for about six months,' said one neighbour. This man allegedly worked for 11 hours a day, from 8am to 7pm. Several residents worked at the house, according to other witnesses.
Windsor police say they are looking into the attack on Mr Rowe's home.