Woman arrested after death in care home

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence by police investigating the death of an 89-year-old West Sussex care home resident.

The 44-year-old suspect, from Tunbridge Wells, was held by detectives examining suspected neglect at Orchid View care home in Copthorne.

The arrest relates to the death in May 2010 of Jean Halfpenny who was a resident at the home. The woman who was arrested is in police custody at an undisclosed location.

Sussex Police launched an inquiry last year into alleged neglect at Orchid View, which has since closed and reopened under a new name and new management.

The wider investigation, which is being carried out in conjunction with the NHS, West Sussex County Council's adult services and HM Coroner for West Sussex, continues to be a long and complex investigation and we are unable to go into further details at this time.

"The next of kin of all former patients who are subject of this investigation have been visited by Sussex Police."

– Sussex Police spokesman