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Care Home in Court over Death of Resident

The owner of a care home in Leicester has appeared in court after a vulnerable 85-year-old resident died from serious burns.

Walter Powley was admitted to the home for emergency care in May 2012 after an occupational therapist advised his family he could no longer be safely left alone at home due to his risk of falling.

Four days later he fell in his room and became trapped between a wardrobe and a radiator. He suffered serious burns right through the skin of his right leg from the radiator pipe and valves, and superficial burns to both legs probably from hot water leaking from the valve. He died in hospital from his injuries eight days later.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found the pipes and valves at the home were not covered and to touch had temperatures of around 73 degrees centigrade.

It also found that the home was aware that Mr Powley was at risk of falls and injury and that staff should be vigilant, but the company failed to assess the risks in his room and take appropriate action to control and manage them.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay a further £35,000 in costs.

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