1. Suspended sentence for ill-treatment by two care workers in Phoenix Court Care Home, Todmorden


2. Arsonist with paranoid schizophrenia still awaiting assessment for housing post release from Prison


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Crown Court at Bradford (UK), 5th October, 2018

1. CARE HOME. Karen Almond (49) and Hayley Ashworth (37) were today both given nine month sentences suspended for 12 months, each having pleaded guilty to ill treatment of a person who lacks capacity. His Honour Judge Jonathan Durham-Hall QC called the case troubling.

The Court was played covertly recorded footage of events which led to the two women being arrested and charged. The victim's family were given an opportunity to leave Court before the footage was played, but chose to remain.

The victim is a 60 year-old woman with significant, profound and highly complex medical and physical disabilities, who needs 24-hour, one-to-one care.

The women sentenced today were recorded feeding the victim or moving around the kitchen undertaking domestic tasks. One could be heard using gentle language at one stage, yet she was feeding and interacting with the victim in a manner which would have made enjoyment of the meal impossible. At one stage in another incident the victim's fingers were pried from the door. His honour said, "I have seen much worse, but I shouldn't have to see this at all should I?" Judge Durham-Hall spoke of observing a chilling lack of compassion toward the victim.

2. Arson. Counsel for Harry Brown (66) wondered whether a way to ensure his client was assessed for housing post release from prison would be to compel those responsible for finding such accommodation to attend Court and explain to the judge why such an asessment had not taken place. His Honour Jonathan Durham-Hall QC said he was not going to do that. His Honour spoke of the authorities as being trapped within their own protocols.

Mr Brown was arrested by police in Keighley in June of this year having thrown a brick through a window (where he, Mr Brown, lived), assaulted a member of staff in the place where he (Mr Brown) lived, and having set a fire in his flat (Mr Brown's). Other residents were evacuated safely, and three fire engines attended. Mr Brown pleaded guilty to a number of charges, including arson with reckless endangerment to life. Mr Brown was interviewed by police after it was confirmed he had capacity.

Mr Brown had wanted to move to Skipton and get a cat. He is thought at the time to have stopped taking his medication for paranoid schizophrenia.

Helen Gavaghan. Published circa 18.40 BST, 05.10.2018.

Clarifications in brackets in the penultimate paragraph added by the editor on 07-10-2018.)