Lostock Hall care home owners and carer found guilty of neglect

Posted on - 20th August, 2015 - 8:19am | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Preston News, Walton-le-Dale
From left to right: Indranee Pumbien, Meghadeven Pumbien and Niphawan Berry

From left to right: Indranee Pumbien, Meghadeven Pumbien and Niphawan Berry

The owners of a Preston care home and one of its carers have been found guilty of ill treatment at a care home.


A six week trial heard about allegations of neglect at the Briarwood Rest Home in Lostock Hall.

Indranee Pumbien, 58, and her husband Meghadeven Pumbien, 62, both of Grosvenor Place, Preston, owned the care home in Todd Lane South and were both convicted of three cases of being a carer involved in the ill treatment and wilful neglect of a person with lack of capacity.

Employee Niphawan Berry, 41, of Christ Church Street, Preston, was convicted once of the same offence.

The convictions relate to the mistreatment of two victims, a 99 year old woman and an 80 year old man.

All three defendants were found guilty of failing to seek immediate medical treatment for a 99 year old female resident who had suffered scolds to her legs. Indranee Pumbien was also found to have force fed the two residents.

Lancashire Police launched an investigation into the care home in June last year after complaints about the home.

DS Alex Gornall of Lancashire Police said: “These convictions are the culmination of a long and complex inquiry into the ill treatment of residents at Briarwood Care Home.

“The investigation revealed that these residents were victims of mistreatment at the hands of these defendants, the very people who were trusted to look after them and who were supposed to treat them with dignity at all times.

“I would like to thank the members of staff who came forward as witnesses in this case. With their help we have been able to put a stop to any further mistreatment and their evidence has been crucial in securing these convictions.

“We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and our priority from the outset of this investigation was to ensure the safety of patients within the home. We have worked closely with the Care Quality Commission and the Adult Social Care Service at Lancashire County Council throughout. We don’t believe that the behaviour of these defendants reflects the behaviour of the majority of staff who worked at Briarwood and the care home is now under completely new ownership with the levels of care provided to patients carefully monitored.

“We have worked closely alongside the family members of the victims to support them during this difficult time. Although nothing can compensate for the ill treatment that their loved ones have suffered, I hope that they can find some comfort from the verdicts and the fact that the defendants have now been brought to justice for their actions.”

The three carers have been told they could face prison sentences and will be sentenced on Friday 2 October.

Ben Southam, Deputy Head of the Complex Casework Unit, CPS North West, said: “Today the owners of a care home and a member of their staff have been found guilty of the shocking abuse of extremely vulnerable adults.

“The victims were lovingly placed by their families in the care of the residential home; however these three people have abused the trust placed in them by the appalling treatment of those in their care. Their actions have caused considerable distress not only to the victims, but also to their families who have had to hear in great detail how their loved ones were ill-treated and abused in the most deplorable way.

“All three defendants have shown no remorse throughout the case, but today they must now face up to the consequences of their actions.

“The prosecution was made possible thanks to all the witnesses who came forward and gave evidence at the trial, which has enabled us to bring an end to the abuse and bring those responsible to justice.

“The CPS and the police will continue to work together to tackle the abuse of vulnerable people in our society, and I would urge anyone who has suffered or witnessed abuse to report it to the authorities without delay.”

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