The cruel are finally punished: Six care workers jailed on charges of shocking patient abuse at Winterbourne View

The Panorama footage of care workers abusing patients showed physical abuse and threats.

view gallery VIEW GALLERY
Share
Related Topics

Six care workers have been jailed on charges of neglect or abusing patients at a private hospital after the acts of abuse were uncovered by BBC Panorama.

Judge Neil Ford QC said there was a "culture of cruelty" at the care home, whilst sentencing those who bullied leaning disabled patients at Winterbourne View near Bristol.

Five other workers were also given suspended sentences.

Wayne Rogers, 32, was identified as the ringleader in a catalogue of offences and has received two years in prison after admitting nine counts of ill-treating patients.

In my opinion, a prison term is justified, but the length of the sentence - given he will no doubt be released early - isn’t long enough.

He and his gang have sentenced their targets to a life of distrust; a life of recurring fear, and their families to a life of anxiety that the next placement will be another like Winterbourne View.

BBC One's Panorama showed patients at a residential care home near Bristol being slapped and restrained under chairs, having their hair pulled and being held down as medication was forced into their mouths.

The victims were shown screaming and shaking, and one showered while fully clothed and had mouthwash poured into her eyes.

Undercover recordings showed one senior care worker at Winterbourne View asking a patient whether they wanted him to get a "cheese grater and grate your face off?".

The fact remains that there are millions of learning disabled people in this country, with a widespread ignorance and neglect by society of those who need support most.

Me and my family recently had to make the agonising decision to place our youngest daughter in residential school, and the shadow cast by the behaviour at Winterbourne View is a long one. It haunts my mind and frames society’s view of our decision.

Those who point the finger and sigh 'abandonment' don’t understand the reality of challenging behaviour; don’t understand the tunnel of pain that our learning disabled daughter lives in whilst she tries to negotiate adolescence, and don’t understand the lack of support and services available to people in our position.

Decent support costs money. Ethical practices take time, and local councils are all too aware of their duty to “cost over value” as they slice and dice to make their choices of who gets what.

We’re lucky to have found a fantastic residential school close to home and to have benefited from an incredible respite provider. When I say lucky, I mean it, because families like ours up and down the country are being failed from lack of decent provision whilst the Coalition still argue over what the term “genuinely disabled” actually means.

Meanwhile, the pressure of caring for someone you love brings with it broken bones, non-existent social networks, work pressures, exhaustion, anxiety, despair and marriages that weaken and break under the strain.

We’ve resisted because of Winterbourne View and others like it for the longest time. We know the truth of human depravity because we read the papers and we hear first-hand accounts, but this vile stain diminishes the efforts of millions of dedicated workers and fierce advocates fighting for the rights of those who need them most.

"We must challenge and expose all cruelty, all bullying and all abuse where we find it"


We must challenge and expose all cruelty, all bullying and all abuse where we find it, because only then to we demonstrate that we are not complicit in the behaviour of those tormentors paid to care for others.

We must also remember the level of trust learning disabled people place in our hands as their parents and advocates. We mustn’t live in fear of the few, but strive constantly to let them go safely unto the care of others because independence, however protected, is vital to life.

Those who love learning disabled people and those who work ethically and diligently with disabled people, are part of the ripple effect of the campaign against such abuse at Winterbourne, and nothing demonstrates this more than the fierce determination of Terry Bryan, the whistle-blower and nurse who fought for the patients and who, without a doubt, saved them.

For that and with the exposure of this cruelty, he and the team at Panorama can justifiably feel incredibly proud.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Engineer

£21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Purchase Ledger & Arrears Supervisor

£22000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are an experienced super...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Web Designer

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this leading ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Now’s the time to bring back Top Of The Pops

David Lister
Amanda Knox will learn today if her conviction for murdering British student Mereditch Kercher has been upheld  

Amanda Knox: A retrial, two films and endless speculation - will the fascination with Meredith Kercher's murder ever end?

Peter Popham
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss