Solar Centre abuse trial due to start

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

The trial of four former mental health workers charged with a catalogue of abuse againt vulnerable patients is due to start tomorrow.

Today at Sheffield Crown Court James Hinds, 59, Susan Murphy, 44, Julie Burge, 49 and Michael Barnard, 50 all entered pleas to a revised list of charges.

James Hinds pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of ill treating a patient.

Susan Murphy pleaded not guilty to 19 counts of ill treating a patient and not guilty to one count of wilfully neglecting a patient.

Julie Burge pleaded not guilty to three counts of ill treating a patient.

Michael Barnard pleaded not guilty to seven counts of ill treating a patient.

All four worked with patients with serious learning difficulties at the Solar Centre in St Catherine’s Hospital, Balby, but a confidential NHS report leaked to the Free Press showed a catalogue of abuse at the centre.

The trial was expected to start at the beginning of the week but was delayed due to legal arguments taking place.

After dropping the case twice in four years due to lack of evidence, the Crown Prosecution brought charges.

The trial is expected to start at 10am tomorrow at Sheffield Crown Court.