Ipswich Optometrist Found Guilty Of Manslaughter By Gross Negligence

An optometrist has been found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence after failing to spot a condition on an Ipswich boy.

8 year old Vinnie Barker died from fluid on the brain five months after a routine eye test by 35 year-old Honey Rose at Boots in 2012.

The prosecution argue that Vinnie had swollen optic discs and could have been saved if it had been spotted.

His father and mother Ian and Joanne Barker and his four siblings have issued this statement;

"The outcome of this case does not change our life sentence; we will never be able to fully accept that our special little boy is never coming home. The void left in our lives will never heal and the ripple effect to those around us is immense. As parents the distress of witnessing your child’s life from start to end in just 8 short years is excruciatingly hard and nonsensical. The decision of a jury or judge cannot bring Vinnie back or undo the devastation of his death. A guilty verdict would never make us winners, our loss is simply too great. 

"Our main concern has always been the accountability of those we entrust with our own health and the health of those we love. It is the responsibility of individuals and the organisation they work for to perform their duties to the expected levels of good practice without exception. The actions of professionals or their failure to act to a standard at which they are required to perform should not go without consequence. 

"We have a duty to our son to ensure that his precious and wonderful time with us is celebrated. Once every formality is dealt with, as a family we can then begin to move forward and build something positive in his memory. 

"Our intention is not to damage the reputation of optometrists, but actually to raise awareness and promote the health benefits and value of good optometry. Because, we believe without doubt that if our son had received the duty of care he was owed on 15th February 2012, he would still be with us today. 

"Our thoughts as always are with those like us who have experienced the death of a child and the overpowering and overwhelming whirlpool of grief that your life becomes. We know only too well time does not heal the pain. Time just provides a way to begin anticipate and manage the raw emotions that are everlasting.”