Care Home Boss Jailed Over Death

Care Home Death

21.05.2008

A nursing home boss has been handed a prison sentence for neglecting a Parkinson's disease sufferer who died in her care.

Kathleen Vitturini, 62, was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty at Preston Crown Court to the wilful neglect of Peter Giles, 57, who died while he was staying at the Abbeycroft Care Home, Blackpool.

Mr Giles was placed at Abbeycroft by Social Services in 2003 and died in October of the following year of pneumonia and septicaemia after a short stay at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Andrew Moran QC, prosecuting, said: "It is an appalling story of wilful neglect in management, assessment, admission, training, supervision, caring and maintenance of vital records."

The court heard that Mr Giles should never have been placed at Abbeycroft as it was only categorised as suitable to care for elderly people with dementia.

The prosecution said Vitturini had acquired false training certificates, in case the home's suitability was ever questioned.

Steve Pullan, executive director for Blackpool Council's Adult Social Care department, said: "All councils will only place people in registered care homes which have met the standards laid down by the Commission for Social Care Inspection.

"Unfortunately this particular individual has not met these standards, with very tragic consequences."

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Joanne Ashley from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "It is terrible to see that an individual placed with the responsibility of the care for vulnerable adults could abuse such a position and knowingly neglect an adult in their care. It is hoped that this case will highlight to others in similar positions that cases of neglect are treated seriously by the judiciary who has the power to impose penalties including custodial sentences."