The families of the elderly dementia sufferers who were abused by care workers at Hillcroft nursing home said they did not "take any pleasure" from today's outcome and added that they were still waiting for an apology from the perpetrators.
Because of their illnesses, we do not know how the victims feel about what happened to them, but we do our best to speak on their behalf.
The guilty pleas and verdicts provided final confirmation that our relatives had been the victims of abuse at Hillcroft and this saddened us greatly. The investigation and court case have been extremely distressing for us all and we do not take any pleasure in the outcome.
There are lessons to be learnt from this case and we are contributing to the ongoing Learning Review, which we hope will provide meaningful recommendations and result in changes to the law.
– Joint statement from families of Hillcroft nursing home victims
The statement added that they were "still waiting to receive formal apologies" from the four care workers sentenced today.
They also added that it "disappointed" them that Gemma Pearson would not serve jail time her role in the abuse at the care home.
Carol Moore - The care team leader was found guilty of one count in which she struck a resident on the unit for people with "challenging behaviour". The court heard she walked up to the victim and slapped him after a complaint was made from the man's wife about a lack of activities at the home.
Hillcroft nursing home residents were mocked, bullied and tormented by four care workers because they would have no memory of the abuse.
One man had his foot stamped on deliberately, another was nearly tipped out of his wheelchair and the vulnerable victims were pelted with bean bags and balls at their heads "for entertainment."
In November, Carol Ann Moore, 54, Katie Cairns, 27, and Gemma Pearson, 28, were found guilty by a jury at Preston Crown Court of ill-treatment or neglect of a person who lacks capacity.
Darren Smith, 35, from Lancaster, admitted ahead of the trial eight counts of ill-treatment in which he threw bean bags or balls at eight residents of Hillcroft nursing home in Slyne-with-Hest, Lancaster.
All the offences spanned from May 2010 to September 2011 and related to seven men and one woman, all aged in their 70s or 80s - the eldest was aged 85.
Four care workers took part in the "gratuitous sport" of abusing dementia sufferers which highlighted Hillcroft nursing home's "weak and inadequate management", the judge at Preston Crown Court said today.
Much evidence in the trial revealed that there was, at the relevant times, a lax regime with weak and inadequate management on the unit which allowed the kind of conduct to carry on undetected and without proper and adequate control.
– Judge Michael Byrne
He added that the offences committed were "an indictment" on Hillcroft nursing home management.
A lack of proper management allowed a culture to develop where conduct of this sort was allowed to carry on.
Some of the offences were gratuitous sport at the expense of of vulnerable victims. Each of these defendants broke the trust placed in them.