Cumbrian care workers jailed after abuse at Penrith home

Chevonne Benson, William Bowman and Claire Strong Image copyright Cumbria police
Image caption Chevonne Benson, William Bowman and Claire Strong all abused patients with dementia at the care home in Penrith

Three care workers have been jailed for abusing dementia patients at a Cumbria home.

William Bowman, Chevonne Benson and Claire Strong admitted multiple counts of ill-treating residents at the Beacon Edge Nursing Home in Penrith.

Bowman was earlier found guilty at Carlisle Crown Court of sexually touching another resident.

The authorities were alerted to the abuse by a co-worker who resigned after spending a day with the trio.

Bowman, 22 from Bowscar, near Penrith, was jailed for three and a half years after he pleaded guilty to eight charges of ill-treatment of a person without capacity.

Benson, 23, from Roman Road, in Penrith, was sentenced to three years for 10 counts of the same offence, while Strong, 21, from Crooklands View, Clifton, was jailed for one year for three counts.

'Abused and degraded'

Cumbria Police said the abuse came to light after a woman worked at the nursing home for one day in September last year.

Det Con Carolyn Willacy said: "The level of ill-treatment towards residents by these three was so shocking that a member of staff resigned after working only one shift.

"She was left distraught by what she saw but displayed great courage and decency by speaking out.

"Bowman and Benson abused, degraded, and mocked those people who were under their care; their vile acts would be recorded by Strong on her mobile phone.

"They subjected their victims to torment including hair pulling and verbal abuse which left them visibly distressed."

The families of the victims said they hope lessons would be learned.

In a joint statement they said: "The investigation and court case have been extremely distressing for us all and we do not take any pleasure in the outcome.

"We would like to thank the woman who had the courage to speak out and those who continue to work and care for our relatives at Beacon Edge Nursing Home."

Judge Barbara Forrester described the trio's behaviour as "degrading, bullying and humiliating".

She said: "It is said we can measure development of a society by the care it exercises to its most vulnerable members.

"A case like this reflects badly on everyone.

"No right-minded person can be anything but disgusted by what went on.

"No-one can condone this behaviour."

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