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Winterbourne View: Patient Was Forced To Take Medication

October 25, 2012

Three care workers at a private hospital exposed by BBC Panorama abusing patients were filmed forcing medication into a patient’s mouth, a sentencing hearing has been told.

Alison Dove, 25, Graham Doyle, 26, and Holly Draper, 24, pinned down Simone Blake, 19, while Sookalingum Appoo, 59, forcefully made her take paracetamol.

They are three of 11 care workers of Winterbourne View, Bristol, who are being sentenced for neglect or abuse.

All have admitted in total 38 charges.

The private hospital, now under new management, looks after people with severe learning difficulties.

The court has already heard evidence that five residents, including Miss Blake, were abused by the defendants. Bristol Crown Court heard that during an incident Miss Blake made a distressing squealing noise.

‘Wet herself’

The footage, which also showed Miss Blake spit the tablets out, was played in court.

As the staff continued to force the medication into Miss Blake’s mouth by holding her nose and making her drink water, Appoo joked: “…water everywhere and not a single drop to drink.”

The court heard Miss Blake was being given paracetamol and an anti-psychotic drug, both of which she was prescribed.

In another incident, Miss Blake had water poured over her by Doyle and Dove.

In the footage, Doyle pushes her and adds: “Look at that, you’ve wet yourself.”

Appoo walks in, sees that Miss Blake is soaking wet and asks the support workers: “Why did she do that?”

Draper, who is out of shot, replies: “She wet herself. It went all over her head.”

Doyle joins in: “She did it on her hands. Did a handstand… It was amazing to watch, could have filmed it but illegal so…”

Appoo is seen laughing before walking away.

The footage also shows Wayne Rogers restraining Miss Blake with a chair. Appoo walks past a couple of times without saying anything.

‘Challenging patients’

Kerry Barker, prosecuting, said: “When interviewed, Appoo said he had never had to force medication on anyone before and Winterbourne View was the first placement where he had seen that practice.

“He denied seeing water poured over Simone and seeing her restrained under a chair. However, having watched the film footage he said that sort of thing was going on all the time.

“He expressed his remorse for not acting with regard to improper restraints but, in mitigation, said that he had never worked with such challenging patients and was relatively new to the hospital.”

In another incident, Miss Blake is sitting on the floor in the garden shivering, visibly wet.

The footage shows Rogers explaining to Kelvin Fore, 33, that he had got fed up with Miss Blake spitting at him, so he tipped a jug of water over her head.

The full list of defendants is: Michael Ezenagu, 29, from Shepherds Bush, west London; Alison Dove, 23, of Kingswood; Graham Doyle, 25, of Patchway; Jason Gardiner, 44, of Hartcliffe; Daniel Brake, 27, of Downend; Holly Laura Draper, 23, of Mangotsfield; Charlotte Justine Cotterell, 21, from Yate; Neil Ferguson, 27, of Emerson Green; and Wayne Rogers, 31, of Kingswood. All admit ill-treating patients in their care.

Sookalingum Appoo, 58, of Downend; and Kelvin Fore, 33, from Middlesbrough; pleaded guilty to wilfully neglecting patients in their care.

Dove and Rogers have requested to remain in custody but the remaining nine defendants were released on bail by Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol.

The hearing was adjourned until Friday when Judge Ford will pass sentence upon them.

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