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Care home 'deeply saddened by the deplorable behaviour'

A spokesperson for Beacon Edge care home which is a private health care run by BUPA said:

“We are all deeply shocked and saddened by the deplorable behaviour of these three people. None of us can understand how young people planning a career in care and nursing could do this.

“We are committed to training and developing our people to provide the best care for residents. However, we don’t believe anyone needs specialist training to behave decently towards frail, older people.

“We would like to apologise again to all our residents and their families and assure everyone that we have acted and will continue to see if there is anything further we can learn from this case.

“We carried out all the correct checks before these three people were employed. As the court heard, this behaviour took place only when they were able to work together. We have robust whistle-blowing procedures and as soon as another carer suspected anything they rightly told managers and we acted.

“We would like to thank our partners in Cumbria Police and social services for helping us to ensure these three can never work with vulnerable people again.”

– Spokesperson for Beacon Edge care home

A total of seven years and six months in prison

Isla Chilton, Senior Crown Prosecutor said:

“The three defendants physically, verbally and emotionally abused vulnerable men and women for their own amusement. William Bowman also further degraded one of the residents by sexually assaulting her."

“The victims were lovingly placed in the care of the residential home by their families. It is a place where they should have been looked after and all their needs met. However these three employees abused the trust placed in them by their employers and the victim’s families by their demeaning treatment of them.

"Cases involving the abuse of vulnerable people, who are often unable to give evidence against the perpetrators themselves, are extremely difficult to prove. It is therefore due to the willingness of the witnesses in coming forward which brought an end to the abuse and has enabled us to bring these defendants to justice for their abhorrent actions.

"The physical and emotional effects on the victim’s families are overwhelming. I sincerely hope that the fact that they have been sentenced it will bring some sense that justice has been served."

– Isla Fisher, Senior Crown Prosecutor

Individual sentences:

  • William Bowman pleaded guilty to 8 counts of ill-treatment of a person without capacity and was found guilty of sexual assault and was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.
  • Claire Strong pleaded guilty to 3 charges of ill-treatment of a person without capacity and was sentenced to one year imprisonment.
  • Chevonne Benson pleaded guilty to 10 counts of ill-treatment of a person without capacity and was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Three jailed for ill-treatment of residents at care home

Three people have been sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court for multiple incidents of ill-treatment and wilful neglect of elderly residents in a Penrith care home.

William Bowman, aged 22 from Bowscar, near Penrith, was found guilty this week for committing a sexual offence whilst working at Beacon Edge Nursing Home, Penrith. He had previously pleaded guilty to eight counts of ill-treatment of a person without capacity. He was sentenced to three and a half years.

William Bowman aged 22 and Chevonne Benson aged 23 Credit: Cumbria Police

Chevonne Benson, aged 23 from Roman Road, Penrith, sentenced to three years for ten counts of ill-treatment of a person without capacity.

Claire Strong, aged 21 from Crooklands View, Clifton, Penrith, sentenced to one year for three counts of ill-treatment of a person without capacity.

Both women also worked at Beacon Edge Nursing Home and pleaded guilty at an earlier court appearance.

Three options for West Cumberland Hospital

Three options have been revealed for the future of maternity services in west Cumbria.

Two would involve withdrawing consultant-led maternity cover from the West Cumberland Hospital.

The third would see it being retained, if sufficient new anaesthetists can be recruited. A public consultation will now be carried out.

Thousands of people went to a public meeting at Whitehaven's rugby league ground last month to express their concerns about the possible loss of some hospital services in the area.

Thousands at the public meeting last month Credit: ITV News Border

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Plans in Scotland to lower drink-drive limit

Plans to reduce the limit to 50mg Credit: PA

A new lower drink-drive limit will come into force on Scotland's roads before Christmas.

Traffic police will be able to breath-alyse drivers at the reduced limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood from the 5th December, meaning motorists could be breaking the law if they consume a single pint or glass of wine before getting behind the wheel.

The new limit will bring Scotland into line with most of Europe, including Germany, France and Spain, while the current 80mg limit remains in place South of the Border.

Tree felling at Heathhall woodland

Heathhall woodland Credit: Forestry Commission Scotland

Tree felling starts on Monday 3rd November at one of Dumfries’ popular recreation hotspots.

The thinning work will last for around 5 weeks, during which time there will be some disruption to paths within the forest.

Forestry Commission Scotland is urging users to follow instructions on all path closure notices and use any diversions put in place.

“We have just constructed a new road through Heathhall, which really opens up access to the woodland. It’s already proving popular with local walkers and cyclists, but to keep everybody safe we may have to temporarily close sections of this road and some of our other paths. We’ll do our best to minimise the number of paths that need to be closed, and I’d like to ask everyone to be patient whilst we do this work.”

– Lesley Smith, Forestry Commission Scotland

The planned work will open up the woodland allowing in more light, making the forest a better environment for birds, bats and other wildlife as well as creating a more welcoming place for people to enjoy.

Police launch Operation Natterjack

Police are launching an operation to improve driving and safety standards on the A66 east of Penrith to the county boundary.

The operation, codenamed Natterjack, aims to make this section of the A66 much safer by encouraging compliance with traffic laws by observation and enforcement.

Operation Natterjack focuses on motoring offences such as lack of a concentration by using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Inspector Phil Davidson, of the Operational Support Unit, said:

“It only takes a slight lapse in concentration to be involved in a serious and potentially fatal road traffic collision. We still see motorists behaving recklessly on the county’s roads using mobile devices whilst at the wheel. This behaviour produces an additional risk on a road where the risk factors are already high, leading to an increase in the number of collisions.

More precipitating factors, like a lack of concentration, leads to more collisions and it is important that through enforcement we stamp this out.

“It only takes a slight lapse in concentration to be involved in a serious and potentially fatal road traffic collision. We still see motorists behaving recklessly on the county’s roads using mobile devices whilst at the wheel. This behaviour produces an additional risk on a road where the risk factors are already high, leading to an increase in the number of collisions. More precipitating factors, like a lack of concentration, leads to more collisions and it is important that through enforcement we stamp this out."

– Inspector Phil Davidson, Operational Support Unit
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