Care Home Owners Escape Jail For Neglect

The owner and manager of a care home in Southampton where elderly residents wer neglected and ill-treated have been sentenced.

An 18-month investigation into The Briars in Bitterne Park found pensioners were dehydrated, malnourished and left with bed sores in urine-soaked beds. The home was closed down in September 2009.
61-year-old owner Annette Hopkins from Thorold Road in Bitterne received a 30 week suspended prison sentence, 200 hours community service and was ordered to pay costs of £52,000 (£27,000 fines and £25,000 costs).
Manager, 56-year-old Margaret Priest from Lydgate Green in Hightown received 200 hours community service.  They were both found guilty of wilful neglect.
Speaking after today’s sentencing Det Sgt Paul Wright from Hampshire Constabulary, said:
“The successful conviction and sentencing for wilful neglect of Briar’s care home owner, Annette Hopkins, and care home manager Margaret Priest, highlights the positive way in which Hampshire Constabulary worked in partnership with other agencies to seek justice for the family of the victims who suffered at the hands of these two women.
“The complex investigation into the Briars Residential Home involved a number of organisations working together over a period of 18 months. 
“Today’s result sends out a strong message to anyone working with vulnerable adults that abuse, in any form, will not be tolerated in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.    
“I would finally like to pass on my thanks to all those involved in the investigation and reassure local people that there are some very good establishments offering high standards of care in Southampton and across the rest of the two counties.