Guilty of covering care home abuse

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A FORMER Scarborough care home manager has been found guilty of attempting to cover up physical abuse against elderly residents.

Terence Bennett, 60, of Duncombe Close, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice after pressurising staff at the Elsinor residential home into producing false documents to hide incidents against four pensioners.

During a three-day trial, Teesside Crown Court heard Bennett – who owned the home in Esplanade Gardens from 1989 until 2005 before taking on a managerial role – made three members of staff put their names to typed statements he had written to protect carer Tina Gillespie.

The jury heard Bennett “bullied” staff into authorising these details as their own version of events.

The court was told he only began taking matters more seriously when Social Services became involved after an anonymous tip-off, and became angry and aggressive during a meeting to investigate the situation.

Gillespie, 31, was jailed for nine months in July last year after admitting common assault and ill-treatment charges.

Bennett, a former police officer, told the court ex-colleagues were lying about his character to “get back at him” and accused another former staff member of contacting Social Services as a way of getting even with him because he had just been sacked by Bennett.

However, a jury took less than two hours to reach a unanimous guilty verdict.

Bennett was released on unconditional bail while a pre-sentence report is prepared.

He will be sentenced next month at York Crown Court.

The home where the offences took place is now under new management.