Care Home Worker Is Bailed

A woman has been bailed after being arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence by police investigating the death of an 89-year-old care home resident.

The 44-year-old, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, was held by detectives examining suspected neglect at Orchid View care home in Copthorne, West Sussex.

The arrest related to the death in May 2010 of Jean Halfpenny who was a resident at the home.

A woman was arrested yesterday morning, taken into police custody at an undisclosed location and later freed on bail until November 30, pending further inquiries.

Sussex Police launched an inquiry last year into alleged neglect at Orchid View, which has since closed and reopened under a new name and new management.

Last month, a 28-year-old man was arrested at HMP Dartmoor, where he is being held on unrelated matters, and quizzed before being released back to the prison pending further inquiries.

In September and October last year, police arrested three people in relation to the investigation on suspicion of ill-treatment and neglect contrary to the Mental Health Act 2007 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

A 41-year-old woman from Crawley, a 55-year-old woman from South Godstone and a 49-year-old man from Burgess Hill were bailed pending further inquiries.

A police spokesman said: "The wider investigation, which is being carried out in conjunction with the NHS, West Sussex County Council's adult services and HM Coroner for West Sussex, continues to be a long and complex investigation and we are unable to go into further details at this time.

"The next of kin of all former patients who are subject of this investigation have been visited by Sussex Police.''

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