Final Winterbourne defendant pleads guilty
The last member of staff to go on trial following the BBC Panorama documentary, “Undercover Care: The abuse exposed”, has pleaded guilty to two charges of ill-treating a patient at Bristol Crown Court.
Michael Ezenagu is now the eleventh member of staff to plead guilty following the documentary which showed systematic and pervasive abuse of individuals with learning disabilities by staff members at Winterbourne View, an Assessment and treatment Unit in South Gloucestershire. The other former employees of Winterbourne View, who were filmed in the programme, have already pleaded guilty to charges of ill treatment under the Mental Health Act. The eleven staff members will now be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court in the next few weeks.
Ann Reddrop, head of the Crown Prosecution Service's south-west complex case unit, said afterwards that the prosecutors would be asking Judge Neil Ford QC "to take into account the fact that these are disability hate crimes when determining the sentence … As such he is able to impose an uplift in sentence to reflect the seriousness of this type of crime".
Click here to see more about what has happened since the BBC Panorama documentary.