Lawyers rule out charging carers

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POLICE have finally closed their investigation on allegations of abuse at a Doncaster care centre - and no prosecutions will follow.

South Yorkshire Police conducted an initial investigation in 2007 into allegations that staff members at the Solar Centre on Tickhill Road, Balby, were physically assaulting patients at the unit for people with serious learning disabilities.

It was reopened again last year after Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the centre, carried out its own investigation and produced a report in January 2010, sparking a police review of the evidence.

The investigation reopened in October 2010 with officers reviewing the original evidence, considering new legislation that could be used, and taking further statements, with the aim to present strong files to the CPS.

But now it has been confirmed the CPS still believes there is not enough evidence for a prosecution.

Acting DCI Natalie Shaw, leading the investigation, said: “I can understand how disappointing and frustrating the decision not to prosecute will be for the victims and family members who have been involved. South Yorkshire Police have thoroughly completed both investigations into the allegations, and we have utilised all the information, legislation and powers we have available to build a strong case.

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, there is still insufficient evidence to meet the requirements to progress to a prosecution.”

A spokeswoman for RDASH said a number of Solar Centre clients and former clients had brought claims against the trust, alleging they were subjected to abuse carried out by a small number of carers who worked at the centre. She added: “Events at the centre have been the subject of a detailed enquiry carried out by the Trust, following which systems have been reviewed and changed. Two of the claims have concluded. There are three other cases which are currently in progress.”