Saturday 15 December 2018
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George Chicken staircase death: Firm and manager sentenced

A care home has been fined £1.5m for safety breaches after a resident fell from a fire escape staircase and died.

George Chicken, 76, died at Rose Court Lodge, in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in November 2012.

Embrace All Ltd, which ran the home, previously pleaded guilty to failing to ensure residents were not exposed to health and safety risks.

Manager Amanda Dean also admitted failing to take reasonable care of persons affected by her work.

The firm was fined at Nottingham Crown Court where Dean was also fined £20,000 and sentenced to nine months prison, suspended for two years.

'Confused and anxious'

Dean, of Ambergate, Derbyshire, and the care home pleaded guilty in July.

At the time, the court heard Mr Chicken, who had severe dementia, was known to wander around the home and push open fire exit doors to get out.

The court was told, that on the day of the accident he wandered through a first floor fire escape door and fell down concrete stairs, fracturing his skull and suffering a bleed on his brain.

He died at King's Mill Hospital two days later.

Sentencing Embrace Ltd, Judge Stuart Rafferty said it failed to put in place measures that are standard in the industry and "allowed breaches to persist over a long period of time".

He added that Dean "was out of her depth in managing the care home".

Bev Smith, chief executive of Mansfield District Council, which prosecuted the home, tweeted: "Tragic case and a strong message we will not tolerate poor standards.....Quality of care is vital for the most vulnerable."

After the sentencing, chief executive of Embrace, Patricia Lee, apologised to Mr Chicken's family and said they had "worked exceptionally hard" to address the issues raised in the case.