Couple jailed for Doncaster hospital abuse

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Two care assistants who mistreated severely disabled patients in a Doncaster hospital have each been jailed for two years and nine months.

A judge told James Hinds, 59, and Susan Murphy, 43: “It is impossible to assess the upset, distress and bewilderment your actions caused.”

Hinds and Murphy were found guilty of a total of 25 counts of ill-treating outpatients at the Solar Centre, at St Catherine’s Hospital in Balby, by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court earlier this year.

They were found guilty of ill-treating 12 different outpatients between them.

All are extremely vulnerable adults, with limited communication abilities and a range of physical disabilities including blindness.

Many of the attacks involved patients being slapped and hit around the head.

Hinds threw one man into a wheelchair, dragged another to the toilet and hit another with a microphone.

Murphy locked one woman in a cupboard, the court heard.

All the incidents happened in a period between January 2005 and March 2007.

Hinds was convicted of 10 charges and acquitted of a further nine after the jury of five men and seven women deliberated for two days.

Murphy was found guilty of 15 charges and was cleared of a further five.