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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.

Cumbria police officer appears in court for alleged fraud

A Cumbria police officer and her husband have appeared in court on allegations of fraud.

Tracy and Paul Taylor from Irthington near Carlisle are jointly accused of five counts of fraud.

It's alleged that they made false representations when trying to get the approval of creditors to enter a voluntary arrangement under the Insolvency Act.

They made no plea and the case was sent to Carlisle Crown Court, where they will appear on the 7th of January.

The couple were given unconditional bail.

Police appeal for 29-year-old Carlisle man

29-year-old Dean Thomas Storey Credit: Cumbria Police

Police are trying to trace a 29-year-old man in connection with an offence of harassment and a breach of a restraining order.

Dean Thomas Storey is believed to be in the Carlisle area.

If you recognise him from this picture and know where he is currently located, please call Carlisle Police.

'An awful lot has been swept under the carpet'

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner is looking into how domestic violence and child sexual exploitation are tackled in the region.

Richard Rhodes has already pledged to make addressing the issues a top priority. Now, a report from Cumbria Constabulary says that between March and the end of July this year, eighty-five children and young people were identified as potentially vulnerable.


Cumbria's PCC discusses domestic violence

Richard Rhodes, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner is looking into how domestic violence and child exploitation are tackled by various agencies.

Richard Rhodes, who was elected in November 2012, has previously pledged to make tackling domestic violence and child exploitation a top priority. He will now discuss them in more detail with officers from Cumbria Police.

Police Commissioner 'resists' nationalisation of Cumbria force

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes says he will 'resist' nationalising Cumbria with any other Police Force.

It comes as the Chief Constable of Cumbria Police says cuts to staff will be an inevitability as the force looks to save a further £10 million from its budget.

When asked if the force could go the same way as Police Scotland, which was created from 8 separate forces in 2013, the commissioner said he would "resist the idea that Cumbria could be merged with any other police force".

Police must save £10million in 3 years

Jerry Graham, Cumbria's new Chief Constable, has said that the police will need to make further savings of £10.4million by 2017 to 2018.

Cumbria Constabulary have already saved £16million by changing the way the force works. Despite having to make cuts, Jerry Graham is still committed to providing the 'best possible policing service':

'Where appropriate we will be undertaking public consultation and will be listening to the views of local people. We will keep the public updated on any planned changes that may affect their policing service.

Change is required due to budget cuts, but I am focused on protecting frontline policing as far as possible. I will continue to work hard to keep Cumbria one of the safest places to live, work, and visit, and provide the best possible policing service we can afford.'

– Chief Constable Jerry Graham

The areas that are currently being reviewed are:

  • Shift patterns
  • Neighbourhood Policing Team structure
  • Community safety delivery
  • Role definition and deployment of PCSOs
  • Command and control
  • Criminal justice
  • Administration across the force
  • Printing
  • Front counters
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