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Nurses slammed for home horror

A RISHTON man has been jailed following the man-slaughter of a pensioner at an Isle of Man nursing home, where he was manager.


A RISHTON man has been jailed following the man-slaughter of a pensioner at an Isle of Man nursing home, where he was manager.

Acting Deemster Rowe sentenced Dennis Latham, 34 of Brook Street, to two-and-a-half years in prison and his former deputy manager, Barbara Campbell, 62, has been jailed for a year.

In October a jury at Douglas Courthouse found them both guilty of unlawfully killing 77-year-old Marion Ethel Dennis without malice aforethought following a five-week trial. It was said the victim suffered "pain and indignity'' before she died.

Mrs Dennis was a resident at Ballastowell Gardens in Ramsey between March and July 1999.

Deemster Rowe said Latham and Campbell had a duty for the health and safety of Mrs Dennis and in a breach of that duty they allowed infected trophic ulcers to develop and remain untreated until she died.

He said the jury found their neglect had caused the sores and her death and added that photographs taken of the wounds "spoke for themselves''.

It is now likely a professional conduct committee will decide whether the pair will be struck off the nursing register.

In mitigation, Latham's advocate, David Aubrey QC, said his client could be described as caring, compassionate and dedicated to the care of the elderly.

He said that Latham had been tormented by the adverse finding of the jury. He said his career was shattered and he had lost his reputation, his livelihood, his home and had suffered considerably financially.

He talked about the delay in the case - Mrs Dennis died in July 1999 and Latham was first interviewed in May 2000, he said.

He added that society would not benefit by depriving Latham, who became a registered nurse in 1992, of his liberty and that with respect he should never have been a manager and remained a nurse.

Deemster Rowe said he could not suspend the sentences due to the length of time Mrs Dennis had suffered. "You allowed it to continue," he told Latham and Campbell. He said that Latham as the manager had a duty of care with his experience and knowledge.

Following the sentencing of the two defendants, police on the island said that Mrs Dennis had been denied her dignity at the hands of Latham and Campbell who created a chaotic nursing regime.

Detective Inspector Guy Pickard said that he hopes her death will have a positive effect on nursing care on the island.


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