Mental health workers in court over 'ill-treatment' of patients

Two mental health unit workers have appeared in court charged with mistreating patients in Doncaster. Care assistant Julie Burge and physiotherapy assistant Michael Barnard are accused of the ill-treatment and wilful neglect of patients at the Solar Centre in St Catherine's Hospital.

Barnard, 49, faces eight charges and Burge, 48, is charged with three offences between January 1 2005 and March 8 2007. Care assistants Susan Murphy, 43, and James Hinds, 59, appeared before the same court last month also charged with ill-treatment and wilful neglect.

The charges relate to 18 patients at the centre. All four defendants will appear before magistrates for a committal hearing on October 26.