CCTV footage shows moments before alleged assault at care home

Wanted man

Norfolk police want to speak to this man - Dami Tobi Ayans - in connection with their investigation into the ill-treatment of Cawston Park patient Ben King. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

CCTV footage shown at the inquest into the death of Cawston Park patient Ben King, which police are investigating amid reports he was struck by a member of staff, has been released.

Ben King, 32, Nicholas Briant, 33, and Joanna Bailey, 36, died within just over two years of each other while they were patients at Cawston Park Hospital, near Aylsham.

A report commissioned by Norfolk Safeguarding Board raised concerns about the care patients received - and stated that Norfolk police were investigating ill-treatment of Mr King, who had Down's Syndrome and learning disabilities.

Police took the rare step of naming a man they want to speak to as part of their investigation -  Dami Tobi Ayans, 60, who is believed to have previously lived in the Costessey area.

He is wanted by police in connection with an investigation into ill-treatment under the Mental Capacity Act.

And CCTV footage from within Cawston Park, which was shown at Mr King's inquest, has been released by Norfolk Coroners office.

The serious case review report, referring to that CCTV, stated that at 6am on the day Mr King died in July 2019, after suffering cardiac arrest - : "A staff member 'approached (Ben) who was awake in his lounge/second bedroom' and 'rough handled him by pushing him roughly and dragging him down by his arms before hitting his head area with an open hand.' The carer '…then looked up to make sure that there was no one looking and hit (Ben) again in the head area with the back of his hand.'"

Footage shows Mr King slumped over at about 6.30am – while a carer sits in a chair by the door. The carer then walks off.

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A nurse sounded the alarm at 7.07am when she could not rouse him, which was when Mr King was taken to hospital, where he died later that day.

The footage has been pixelated at the request of the coroner and edited so the alleged assault is not shown.

The inquest into Mr King's death found major failings in the care he received, while the serious case review criticised the governance at Cawston Park, run by Jeesal Group.

The company had previously said standards of care “declined rapidly” as Covid put a strain on the hospital.

They had apologised and said one of the carers seen on CCTV had been sacked for "entirely unacceptable" action.

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