BREAKING NEWS: Neglect trial of four care home staff collapses

THE trial of four care home staff accused of neglect after the death of an 82-year-old resident has collapsed.

The prosecution at Lincoln Crown Court said that it could not be sure that the only reason for the dehydration in the run-up to dementia sufferer Edna Barnes’ death was due to neglect.

On Friday, Zoe Greenwood, a care worker at Adderley Nursing Home in Long Sutton and relative of Sutton Bridge mother-of-eight Mrs Barnes, had told the jury: “We all did all that we could. Edna did not want very much. She was very hard to feed but we tried. It was hard work.”

After Ms Greenwood finished her evidence the prosecution requested an adjournment and when the court resumed prosecutor Felicity Gerry offered no evidence against each of the four defendants. All four were then formally acquitted by the jury on the directions of Judge Sean Morris.

Miss Gerry said that the diagnosis of wilful neglect was based on the assumption that figures in the home records being accurate.

The former care home manager Joy Byfield (39), of Henniker Gardens, East Ham, London; the former assistant manager Jane Allen (39), of Eastgate, Fleet; staff nurse Paul Shepherd (44), of Swapcoat Lane, Long Sutton; and nurse Jenieve Caesar (57), of High Street, Hornchurch, Essex; had all denied wilful neglect of a person who lacks mental capacity between December 14 and 28, 2008.