Woman bailed in Copthorne care home investigation

A 44-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence of a woman at a Copthorne care home has been bailed by police.

The woman from Tunbridge Wells was arrested on Tuesday, October 2, by detectives investigating neglect at Orchid View care home. She has been bailed until November 30.

A Sussex Police investigation was launched last year examining neglect at the care home following the death of 77-year-old resident Jean Halfpenny in May 2010.

The 44-year-old woman was the fifth person to be arrested in connection with the death.

On September 11, a 28-year-old man was arrested at HMP Dartmoor, where he resides on unrelated matters. He was released back to the prison pending further enquiries.

And in September and October of last year, police arrested three people in relation to the investigation on suspicion of ill-treatment and neglect contrary to the Mental Health Act 2007 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. A 41-year-old woman from Crawley and a 55-year-old woman from South Godstone have been bailed until November 10, and a 49-year-old man from Burgess Hill has been bailed until November 1, pending further enquiries.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The wider investigation, which is being carried out in conjunction with the NHS, West Sussex County Council's Adults' Services and HM Coroner for West Sussex, continues to be a long and complex investigation and we are unable to go into further details at this time.

“The next of kin of all former patients who are subject of this investigation have been visited by Sussex Police.”

Orchid View care home, which was run at the time of Ms Halfpenny's death by Southern Cross, closed.

It has since reopened under a new name and under new management by Care UK.

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