Kenneth Ibbetson: Bupa fine over Legionnaire's death halved
Private care provider Bupa has won an appeal against a £3m fine over the death of pensioner at a nursing home.
Kenneth Ibbetson, 86, died after contracting Legionnaire's disease at Hutton Village care home in Brentwood, Essex, in June 2015.
Bupa Care Homes (BNH) Ltd was fined last year at Ipswich Crown Court after it admitted health and safety breaches.
The fine was cut to £1.5m after judges ruled BNH's parent company profits were wrongly taken into account.
The crown court hearing was told that samples taken from taps in Mr Ibbetson's ensuite bathroom found there was a high concentration of the bacteria in the water.
Retired businessman Mr Ibbetson moved into the home in March 2015 three years after the death of his wife Marjorie, but within weeks he complained of feeling unwell.
He was diagnosed with a lung infection and died at Basildon Hospital.
The crown court judge concluded the most likely cause of the infection was the failure to flush and disinfect pipes following refurbishment work.
On Friday, Mr Justice Julian Knowles, sitting with two other judges at the Court of Appeal, said: "The defendant in this case was Bupa Care Homes and the offence in question arose out of its breaches of duty.
"It did not delegate these to its parent. It alone bore criminal liability."
The judge said nothing in the ruling was "intended to minimise the loss" that Mr Ibbotson's family have suffered.
After the original hearing Mr Ibbetson's daughter Caroline Peters said Bupa had finally been "brought to justice."
"The sentence imposed," she said, "will not bring our father back, but Bupa are now facing the consequences of their failings."