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Whorlton Hall: Nine Charged After Abuse Allegations

October 1, 2021

Nine people have been charged with the abuse of patients with learning difficulties at a specialist hospital in County Durham.

In 2019 undercover filming by BBC Panorama at Whorlton Hall appeared to show vulnerable adults being mocked, intimidated and restrained.

The six men and three women are charged with ill treatment or wilful neglect of an individual by a care worker.

They will appear before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on 9 November.

The accused, who are all former workers, are:

  • John Sanderson, 24, from Willington
  • Darren Lawton, 46, from Darlington
  • Niall Mellor, 24, from Bishop Auckland
  • Sara Banner, 31, from Newton Aycliffe
  • Matthew Banner, 41, from Newton Aycliffe
  • Ryan Fuller, 26, from Startforth
  • Sabah Mahmood, 26, from Kelloe
  • Peter Bennett, 52, from Darlington
  • Karen McGee, 53, from Darlington

The facility, near Barnard Castle, which has since closed, was privately-run but funded by the NHS.

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