Stephen Lawrence detective who caught killers to investigate care home ‘neglect’

The cop who nailed the killers of Stephen Lawrence is leading a justice fight by families who fear loved ones died from care home neglect.

Former DCI Clive Driscoll is helping a group calling for an inquiry into deaths and injuries at homes run by an award-winning firm.

The Harmed in Adult Care Alliance represents families in West Sussex, where police are probing 13 deaths.

Mr Driscoll, who helped send down two suspects in the 1993 murder of Stephen in Eltham, London, said: “There’s no hidden agenda. These ordinary lovely people want to know the truth of what happened to their loved ones.”

Last week Sussex Police confirmed 10 people have been interviewed under caution in connection with deaths at nine homes run by Sussex Health Care.

Martyn Lewis and Mark Bates are among relatives seeking answers after loved ones suffered broken limbs within hours of each other at Beech Lodge, Horsham, in April 2015.

Martyn said: “We aim to bring together as many families as possible that have suffered harm, abuse, neglect, ill-treatment in adult care providers in West Sussex – with the intention of rolling this out nationwide. All I want is transparency.”

Mr Driscoll is also supporting relatives of 19 who died at Orchid View in Copthorne, amid reports of dire conditions. It was run by now defunct Southern Cross.

Those seeking answers include Lesley Lincoln, 77, and Judith Charatan, 59 – whose mothers died at Orchid View – while Ian Jerome, 70, lost his uncle at the same Southern Cross home.

Sussex Health Care said: “Delivering quality care and support is our overriding priority. The cases were subject to comprehensive investigations, involving the council and police.

“We co-operated fully with those investigations, which found no evidence of poor handling or wrongdoing. We are proud that Beech Lodge has consistently been rated as Good by the CQC.”

West Sussex County Council said it has held productive meetings with relatives of residents at Orchid View.

Sussex Police said there was not enough evidence to support criminal charges in the Bates and Lewis cases.

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