Care home fined after woman, 91, freezes to death in their grounds

Hilda Fairweather froze to death in the grounds of a Staffordshire home
Hilda Fairweather froze to death in the grounds of a Staffordshire home Photo: ITV News Central

A Staffordshire care home that specialises in looking after elderly people with dementia has been fined £133k and ordered to pay £122k in costs today after the death of a woman, 91, who froze to death in the grounds of the home after wandering off.

Hilda Fairweather was moved to the home specifically because she had dementia. Abele View care home in Iverley, Stourbridge, claimed to offer a secure and safe environment for vulnerable elderly residents.

The court heard staff had not checked on her for nearly 12 hours.

Hilda Fairweather was moved to the home specifically because she had dementia.
Hilda Fairweather was moved to the home specifically because she had dementia. Credit: ITV News Central

One of the home's selling points was that its doors were alarmed when in fact only the front door had an alarm.

Mrs Fairweather had needed substantial contact with staff because she had a tendency to wander off.

On the night she died there were no records of her being checked overnight.

South Staffordshire District Council brought this action because they claimed the home was putting residents at unacceptable risk.

In mitigation the owners of Abele View said they sent their regrets and apologies to the family. They also said significant improvements had been made since ther deaths and that all doors are now alarmed.

There have been a number of failings over significant period of time...The residents of the home were particularly vulnerable.

– Judge David Fletcher
Mrs Fairweather had needed substantial contact with staff because she had a tendency to wander off.
Mrs Fairweather had needed substantial contact with staff because she had a tendency to wander off. Credit: ITV News Central

The home is still open and in operation.