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Inquest into 19 deaths at West Sussex care home opens
10:11am Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
An inquest is due to begin into the unexplained deaths of 19 elderly residents who were staying at a care home in West Sussex.
The now-defunct Orchid View nursing home in Copthorne was originally investigated by Sussex Police when they received a complaint of neglect following the death of 89-year-old Jean Halfpenny in May 2010.
A man and a woman were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence but were not prosecuted because of insufficient evidence.
Three other people who were arrested in September and October 2011 on suspicion of ill-treatment and neglect contrary to the Mental Health Act 2007, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005, were all later stood down from bail due to insufficient evidence.
The investigation into the home, which has since closed and reopened under a new name and management, also involved the NHS, West Sussex County Council's adult services, the Care Quality Commission and the West Sussex Coroner, police said.
Ms Halfpenny's case, and 18 others who died at Orchid View during the two years it was open, will be heard by West Sussex coroner Penelope Schofield at County Hall North in Horsham from 10am. It is expected to last until mid-October.
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