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Statement from Chief Inspector, Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales on the successful prosecution of Hillcrest Ltd

I extend my deepest sympathy to the family.  Vulnerable children living in children’s homes should be well cared for and protected from harm. This includes making sure that there are enough staff available with sufficient skills and experience to make sure they are protected.

The care and welfare of vulnerable children in homes in Wales is a significant matter of public interest which is why the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales, on behalf of the Welsh Ministers, pursued this prosecution.

We are pleased Hillcrest Care Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 25. The company admitted that there were insufficient staff with suitable skills and experience on duty the night Jordan died. Necessary visual checks on Jordan were not carried out. We are pleased also that the company pleaded guilty and admitted that, in one case, they had not undertaken the relevant Criminal Records Bureau checks.

We are pleased that District Judge Williams endorsed the decision to investigate and prosecute as worthwhile and in the public interest.

Most care in children’s homes in Wales is good. However, if we do find serious breaches of regulations that put people at risk we will take action.

  • Pentwyn School was registered as a children's home and closed in February 2013.
  • We carried out an investigation following the tragic incident at Pentwyn School, Clyro, Powys in June 2012 resulting in the death of a young person.
  • We decided that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the registered provider Hillcrest Care Ltd, the registered manager and the principal of the school for significant failures of care.
  • A prosecution was commenced in October 2013 against the Defendants for eight alleged offences arising from breaches of regulations relating to appropriate staffing, lack of clear policies and procedures and failures to ensure the health,  safety and welfare  of young people resident at the School.
  • Hillcrest Care Ltd pleaded guilty to two charges. The first for an offence arising out of a breach of regulation 25 of the Children’s Homes (Wales) Regulations. The second for actions arising out of regulation 26 of the same regulation.
  • The Court ordered that Hillcrest Care Ltd pay £10,000 costs to the Prosecution (CSSIW acting on behalf of Welsh Ministers).

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