Suffolk

Vincent Barker death: Optometrist Honey Rose's conduct 'was criminal'

Vincent Barker Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Vincent Barker, eight, died in 2012 after a build-up of fluid in his brain led to an increase in pressure in his skull

An eight-year-old boy, who died after fluid built up in his brain, could have been saved if an optometrist had "done her job properly", a court has heard.

Vincent Barker, known as Vinnie, died in July 2012, five months after he had a routine eye test at Boots in Ipswich.

The prosecution told Ipswich Crown Court the conduct of eye specialist Honey Rose, 35, was so far below the expected standard it was "criminal".

Ms Rose denies a charge of gross negligence manslaughter.

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Image copyright Archant
Image caption Eye specialist Honey Rose denies gross negligence manslaughter

Jonathan Rees QC said the alleged failure of Ms Rose, of Newham, east London, to detect Vinnie's swollen optic discs during the routine test, and refer him on for further investigation, was "at the heart of the prosecution case".

A build-up of fluid in his brain increased pressure in Vinnie's skull and ultimately led to his death, the court heard.

"The prosecution allege that Vinnie's death was preventable and would have been prevented had the defendant, Ms Rose, done her job properly," he told the jury.

"Given the risk of death involved, her conduct was so bad in all of the circumstances - it fell so far below the standards to be expected of a competent optometrist - that it was criminal."

The trial continues.

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