Whorlton Hall Prosecution – 10 March 2023

Today in court the jury were shown a number of video clips that the police had prepared as exhibits for this case. They were all filmed at Whorlton Hall in late 2018 and early 2019, by an undercover BBC reporter Olivia Davies. As such the filming isn’t the easiest to understand as it’s taken with a concealed body warn camera, so isn’t always the clearest and jumps around as the person moves. The audio particularly was hard to decipher in court, although the police officer in charge of the case DC Simms had arranged for transcripts to be made, which were provided to the jury.

In this post I’ll cover the clips that were shown, which counts they related to (full charge sheet is available in the Opening post here) and try to paint a picture of what the videos contained.

HHJ Smith welcomed the jury, thanking them for “battling through the elements” to get to court, and explaining that Mr Herrmann, one of the prosecution barristers, with the assistance of DC Simms, would be taking them through the footage which underpins the allegations made by the prosecution.

It was also explained to the jury that DC Simms, as officer in charge of the case, would return to court at a later date for questioning and to give evidence, today he was there simply to introduce the video footage. He confirmed to Mr Herrmann that he’d watched all the footage recorded at Whorlton Hall and prepared the exhibits submitted to the court in this case.

HHJ Smith reassured the jury that they would be provided the footage on a secure digital card to re-watch when they were deliberating if they wished, but warned them not to “switch off and treat it like Netflix” which they could go back to; he asked them to pay attention and use the digital version as a back up. He also warned them of being distracted by the transcripts and potentially missing what was happening on screen.

Just a note about my reporting here. I am referring to the people who were allegedly ill-treated and neglected as Patients 1 to 7 and have attempted to provide pen portraits of them in my opening post. The court is not referring to them as such, the court is using their actual names but there was a request that they are not reported. So I am trying to report within those constraints, which is why I’m not using their names, which may seem dehumanising, but is not my intention in any way.

Clip One

Relates to Counts 1 and 2. Filmed on 6 January 2019 and involves the defendants Peter Bennett and Matthew Banner and Patient 1. The clip was a little over 17mins long. Mr Hermmann read the particulars for the charges which relate to Patient 1 being threatened with prolonged use of male carers, and deliberately referencing balloons and snapping balloons in her presence.

The clip opens and the image is of the top half of a doorway, but you can immediately hear a young woman screaming. She says that she’ll calm down, before screaming again. A female staff member sits down outside the room door and states “we’re not having this conversation again”. You can hear Patient 1 talking and screaming, she appears very distressed.

Two men arrive and the female staff members says that she’s struggling and might require PRN, at which Patient 1 screams again. The men talked [couldn’t hear] and Patient 1 screams, one of them asks her if she want’s something [can’t hear] and she says yes. Later another man says “do you want the light off? Keep your voice down” as Patient 1 screams. The staff talk amongst themselves and the light is turned off, causing Patient 1 to scream, I’d suggest more urgently and louder as her distress increases. The male staff move towards her and her screaming escalates yet further.

Then there was a section I couldn’t easily follow, and the footage has yet to show Patient 1. One of the men asks Patient 1 if she wan’t a balloon, she screams, each time balloons are mentioned she screams. It appears to me that the patient is using screaming to communicate her distress.

She calms herself and appears to settle before one of the men asks her again if she want’s balloons and what her favourite colour of balloons is before she says “none of them”. The male staff exchange laughs between themselves. As Patient 1 becomes increasingly distressed her screams appear louder.

Throughout the clip she appears to become distressed when the male staff talk to her. Much of the image that can be seen in this clip is shot from the reporter who is outside the room in the corridor, where one of the men (Matthew Banner) sits in a tub chair, slouching, with his feet rested on the wall opposite him. He’s white, stockily built, balding. The other man, Peter Bennett, is also white, balding, large, with glasses and a grey goatee beard. He is in the room with Patient 1 as the others are blocking the doorway or in the corridor outside, which has painted in large capital letters ‘Please be quiet in this area, thank you’.

As Patient 1 appears to settle and calm down another member of staff, Niall Mellor, arrives (he doesn’t stay) but Matthew Banner says to her “Niall’s here, he’ll stay here as well now”. Patient 1 continues to self sooth and the staff are talking amongst themselves. Someone speaks to Patient 1 and she becomes distressed again, they ask her if she’s ready for her headphones back, she replies yes, they continue “without any problems” and she replies yes again. Matthew Banner then speaks to her [can’t decipher the detail but the word balloons is used again].

As the men move away, a female member of staff sits outside Patient 1’s room with her legs across the doorway blocking the exit.

Clip Two

Relates to Counts 3, 4 and 8. Filmed on 11 January 2019 and involves the defendants Matthew Banner, Karen McGhee and Patient 1. The clip was 14mins long. Mr Herrmann read the particulars for the charges which involved threatening to increase the number of male carers for Patient 1, making deliberate references to balloons, and threatening her with male carers.

In this clip we see Patient 1, a young woman, sitting on her bed, upset. The camera angle is from the doorway, and you can see a plain room, with cream walls, that contains little furniture other than a wardrobe and a single bed with a blue mattress on it. Curtains over the window on the right hand side are pulled closed. Patient 1 is sitting on her bed with her back to the corner.

A female carer asks for her phone and when she doesn’t hand it over it is snatched from her hands, causing her to become more upset. Patient 1’s distress escalates and she gets off her bed and starts banging against the wardrobe in her room. She then heads towards the doorway and is told to get back into her room and pushed back in.

Karen McGhee says something to her [can’t hear]. She’s a small, white woman, with grey/blonde hair. There are now five staff members in Patient 1’s room. Patient 1 is sitting on her bed, with her back to the wall, backed into the coroner. She is screaming, and stimming, with her arms flailing and her hands flapping. It looks to me like she is desperately trying to calm herself down.

As time passes she settles more, she says to staff that she’ll stop and they respond “stop then” and “if you’re not settled I’ll [cant hear]”. Even as she settles Patient 1’s arms are flapping, and she is rocking a little, it appears that she is trying to regain some control of her environment and reaction to it.

Patient 1 apologises several times. Staff talk amongst themselves. As some point Karen McGhee leaves but there are still 4 staff in the room with Patient 1. It’s not a large room, it appears to be a little longer than the length of a single bed and about the same width, maybe a little wider. It’s hard to decipher the conversation but I think staff were discussing restraint, someone mentions grabbing a leg.

Patient 1 gets upset. One of the male staff members says he’ll stay in case he has to respond. A female then says something [can’t hear]. Patient 1 says clearly “go away” and Matthew Banner says to her “you want two men then do you? I’ll tell Karen you want two men” and Patient 1 gets upset.

Staff continue to talk amongst themselves while Patient 1 becomes increasingly upset. She gets very distressed, seems like she might be starting to hyperventilate, she says “no” and starts hitting her face, her arm flapping increases in intensity. She then starts with echolalia, repeating words, to try and calm herself down.

Patient 1 seems to calm somewhat when talking to Olivia, she says her name several times, and Olivia responds to her each time. She repeats the word village to her. She settles, her flapping reduces a little.

Then someone turns the light off and she becomes very upset again. Olivia and Matthew Banner leave the room, and Banner then sits blocking the door way, sitting in a chair and putting his legs crossed across the entrance way up on the doorframe opposite.

Patient 1 remains distressed, and screams repeatedly and Matthew Banner says “you can go downstairs and tell Karen that she wants three men”, Patient 1 becomes increasingly distressed. It is hard to hear much of the conversation but Matthew Banner asks Patient 1 again if she likes balloons. His pager goes off and he says he has to go downstairs, a female staff member takes his place, sitting blocking the door way.

Patient 1 is still repeating words and the female staff member asks her if she’s doing it for attention. Matthew Banner returns, sits down and puts his legs across the doorway again. Patient 1 screams, he leans into her room and says something [inaudible to me].

Patient 1 is largely ignored while staff continue discussing things amongst themselves. Matthew Banner says something to Patient 1 and she screams. She is repeating words again, Matthew Banner says to her “you’ll only get one chance at this”, Patient 1 is silent before repeating the word electrical. She appears to be trying hard to calm herself down.

Clip Three

Relates to Count 5. Filmed on 28 January 2019 and involves the defendant Matthew Banner and Patient 1. The clip is a little over 11mins long. Mr Herrmann read the particulars for the charge which involved ill-treating Patient 1 by belittling her condition of repeating words, antagonising her about his presence in the room and by making deliberate reference to balloons.

The footage starts with Patient 1 in her room, Ryan Fuller is in her room with her and there’s a female member of staff sat in the doorway, and Olivia just outside. Patient 1 is repeating words, she doesn’t appear upset, but is communicating with Ryan. He says something [inaudible] to her and she says “speak normally” and he responds “you speak normally to me then”. Patient 1 continues with echolalia.

A little later two men arrive, including Matthew Banner who arrives carrying something that looks like an envelope. He walks into Patient 1’s room and says something [inaudible]. As soon as he walks in Patient 1 starts to scream. Matthew Banner says “do you want us to stay” and she starts screaming more [it appears to me that her communication is exceptionally clear]. Banner asks her again “do you want us to stay or go?” and Patient 1 screams loudly. He says “you want to answer the question?” and Patient 1 starts repeating words to calm herself.

Matthew Banner keeps talking at Patient 1, she gets increasingly distressed, repeating words anxiously. Patient 1 speaks to Ryan Fuller, Matthew Banner answers and she screams. Her screams increase in volume, she sounds pained. The two female staff members move into the room.

Discussion which I couldn’t decipher. Ryan sits down on Patient 1’s bed, she is repeating words and points at Matthew Banner, who says to her she should “write a song”, she clearly says “no” back to him. Patient 1 says “listen to me” and Matthew Banner says “I’m listening, what you going to say” but she is then silent. He continues talking to her and she screams. This pattern continues.

Patient 1 says “no” and Matthew Banner replies “no what?”. She screams and he says again “no what? You just said no”. She is increasingly distressed, repeating words anxiously and Matthew Banner punches his hand in the air in time to her and mocks her, before stating “I’m listening and you aren’t saying anything”. Matthew Banner continues to talk at Patient 1, who says “Ryan?”, Matthew Banner talks instead. Ryan is sat on the edge of the bed with her, and she seems much calmer when Matthew Banner isn’t talking to her.

Clip Four

Relates to Count 6. Filmed on 21 February 2019 and involves the defendant Matthew Banner and Patient 1. The clip was much shorter, just 2 minutes, and the charge related to Matthew Banner repeatedly making references to balloons.

A female member of staff is sat in the doorway, Patient 1 is on her bed. Patient 1 says “sorry” and the female member of staff turns the light on and off repeatedly. Matthew Banner arrives and speaks to Patient 1 [can’t hear] and Patient 1 screams, flaps her arms when he speaks to her, and the female member of staff turns the light off again. Matthew Banner says he’ll come back.

Clip Five

Relates to Count 7. Filmed on 22 February 2019 and involves defendant Matthew Banner and Patient 1, he is charged with repeatedly making references to balloons. The clip was only 50 seconds long.

Matthew Banner leans into Patient 1’s room and says “do you like balloons?”. Patient 1 says “sorry”, Matthew Banner stands in the hallway laughing and chatting to other staff. Hard to hear what’s said but think there was reference to the “man button” (an imaginary button invented to threaten Patient 1 with male carers).

Clip Six

Relates to Counts 9 and 10. Filmed on 24 January 2019 and involves defendants Sarah Banner, Ryan Fuller, Karen McGhee and Patient 1. It’s 17 minutes long. Mr Herrmann read out the charges, which relate to all of them threatening Patient 1 with male carers and Sarah Banner also encouraging Patient 1 to continue hitting her own face and laughing at the distressed state of Patient 1.

The footage starts with Patient 1 stood in her doorway, agitated and distressed, holding a soft toy animal in one hand. She waves the hand of the toy and says hello. Sarah Banner tells her to go and sit down, several times. Patient 1 flaps her hands and stays standing in the doorway.

Sarah Banner tells her that she’s not settled and to go and sit down. Patient 1 screams and starts hitting her face with her own clenched first. She starts turning around in circles. She screams and continues to hit her head with both her hands, while holding the soft toy in her left hand still.

Ryan Fuller asks her if she’s settled and Patient 1 says yes. He says “I don’t believe you”. Patient 1 starts with echolalia. Her breathing is heavy, she sounds exhausted. Patient 1 says Ryan’s name and he responds to her. He’s stood outside her door, not blocking it. Patient 1 repeats words and calls Ryan again. He responds [can’t hear].

Sarah Banner tells Patient 1 “white noise” and Patient 1 screams. She is sat back on her bed now, in the corner of her room. She’s waving her arms. She says Olivia, she responds to her but then Patient 1 doesn’t continue the conversation, but continues to wave her arms and flap her hands. She says Olivia again before screaming. Sarah Banner says to her “white noise” several times.

Patient 1 screams, leans against the back wall and screams more. She then says Sarah, she replies “white noise”. Patient 1 has put her headphones on. Says Sarah again, she replies “white noise” again. This happens several times.

Patient 1 is screaming loudly, shaking her arms and flapping her hands. Sarah Banner comes into shot of the video, she laughs and comments that it’s so funny before pointing at Patient 1 and shouting “white noise”. Patient 1 comes towards the doorway, she is listening to something, with headphones on and is holding her phone. Sarah Banner says to her repeatedly to “sit down, sit down”.

Patient 1 becomes more distressed and starts spinning in circles and goes to leave the room. She is restrained onto the floor by her bed. She’s incredibly distressed. Karen McGhee arrives and kneels by her head. Patient 1 is screaming loudly and repeatedly, obviously very distressed. She says “not funny, not funny, Karen” and Karen McGhee responds “are you going to talk to me nicely or I’m not talking to you”, Patient 1 calms briefly before starting to scream again.

Patient 1 tries to talk to Karen McGhee repeatedly, in between repeating words to herself. McGhee encourages her to take ten deep breaths. She encourages her over the next minute or so. Patient 1 seems to calm before becoming distressed again. She screams and says “Karen”. McGhee responds “Am I shouting at you? Am I shouting at you? No. Don’t shout at Karen please. Deep breaths please, ten deep breaths. Listen to Karen, ten deep breaths, through your nose and out through you mouth”.

Patient 1 repeats words. Karen McGhee shakes her head and gets up. Patient 1 gets more distressed. The staff talk to each other while Patient 1 is restrained. At one point the conversation goes:

Karen: When did you get your nails done?

Patient 1: Karen?

Karen: No

Patient 1 screams

Karen: Deep breaths

Patient 1 repeats words

Patient 1 appears to calm down, while staff are talking to each other and restraining her. Someone says to Patient 1 if she calms down she can move to the bed. When Patient 1 speaks she’s told “Ten deep breaths or you aren’t going anywhere”.

Clip Seven

Relates to Count 11. Filmed on 19 January 2019 and involves defendant Ryan Fuller and Patient 2. It was a little over 3 minutes long and Fuller is charged with ill-treating Patient 2 by encouraging her to swear using her middle and forefinger.

The footage is shot in what looks like a lounge. There are a lot more windows than we’ve seen anywhere else so far. There is a TV on in the corner. Ryan and Olivia are in conversation. Ryan is sat next to Patient 2 on a sofa. She looks slight, she has long hair and her fringe falls to cover her eyes at times. Ryan talks to Patient 2 but it was impossible for me to hear what he said.

Clip Eight

Relates to Count 12. Filmed on 20 February 2019 and involves defendant Ryan Fuller and Patient 2 again, relating to a similar charge of encouraging Patient 2 to swear using her middle forefinger. It was a minute long.

I couldn’t really tell from the footage whether they were in a room or a corridor or what was going on. Someone says “tell Ryan no”, it might have been Patient 2, hard to work out.

Clip Nine

Relates to Count 13 and was filmed on 28 February 2019 and involves defendant Peter Bennett and Patient 2. He is charged with ill-treating Patient 2 by mocking her communication difficulties by speaking to her in the French language and advancing toward her suddenly causing her fear. The clip was just over a minute long.

Peter Bennett is in the corridor with (at least) two other staff members and Patient 2 comes to her bedroom door, trying to communicate. Peter Bennett is sat on a chair outside, she tries to talk to him and he speaks back to her in very basic French before lunging towards her door. He speaks to her, but it was hard for me to hear what he says.

Clip Ten

Relates to Count 14. Filmed in 23 January 2019 and involves Ryan Fuller and Patient 3. Fuller is charged with encouraging him to swear using his middle finger. The clip was just short of a minute.

There’s music on, they appear to either be in a corridor or a lounge, it’s hard to tell. Patient 3 is walking around and two male members of staff are present, and Olivia filming. Ryan and Patient 3 pose for a photo and Patient 3 raises his middle finger. Dialogue follows, but I couldn’t decipher it.

Clip Eleven

This 11 minute clip related to Counts 15, 19, 20 and 21 and was filmed on 25 January 2019. Ryan Fuller, Sarah Banner and Karen McGhee are the defendants involved, with Patient 4. Fuller is charged with ill-treating Patient 4 while restraining him by mocking his reaction, offering chewing gum to others involved in the restraint, wearing Patient 4’s spectacles and suggesting removal of personal possessions from his room as a punishment. Banner is charged with ill-treating Patient 4 by emptying his room of personal possessions as a punishment and deliberately bringing the items removed to his location intending to cause him distress. Karen McGhee is charged with ill-treating Patient 4 when during a restraint of Patient 4 she instructed the removal of personal possessions from his room as a punishment, and also with wilful neglect of Patient 4 whilst supervising during a period of restraint by failing to prevent ill-treatment of the said Patient 4 by other care workers in attendance.

The footage starts with Patient 4 walking down a corridor, I was struck by how institutional the building feels, large painted walls, very echoey with awful acoustics, can’t imagine it being anything but a sensory challenge for most autistic people, well most people for that matter. Patient 4 is a man in his late 40s, short stature, wearing blue glasses. He is distressed and lashes out at the male staff who are surrounding him.

Hard to hear the dialogue but you can make out Patient 4 calling the male staff “bastards”. Someone say’s that they’re sorry but they’ll have to restrain him. The man is clearly distressed, his shoulders and head are dropped, he looks defeated. A male care worker tells him “I’m going to give you to the count of three to move out of the way or I’ll be restraining you”.

Patient 4 doesn’t move and he’s taken to the floor by a number of staff members. An alarm sounds, he’s lying with his back on the floor with staff on each limb. There is a large empty green felt noticeboard on one wall and a large painted tree at the end of the corridor on the wall, and staff continue to walk past Patient 4 and the staff on the floor as though they’re not there.

Ryan Fuller, Sarah Banner and Karen McGhee come into shot (impossible to tell whether they arrived in response to the alarm, or whether they were behind Olivia all along). Patient 4 again says “bastards” and Sarah Banner says “what did you call us?”.

Ryan Fuller takes up position kneeling by Patient 4’s head, Karen McGhee is stood to one side and Sarah Banner to another. The staff talk amongst themselves. Patient 4 tells them to “fuck off” and Karen McGhee says “if he does it again we’ll have to [can’t hear but possibly empty his room given the charge].

Patient 4 very distressed, repeats “fuck off”. Ryan Fuller says something [can’t hear]. Ryan Fuller then asks if anyone wants a chewing gum and proceeds to pass them around. Karen McGhee moves over to Sarah Banner to collect herself a chewing gum.

Ryan Fuller asks Patient 4 if he’s being aggressive. Then Sarah Banner and Olivia leave the scene, running upstairs to Patient 4’s room. Sarah Banner collects belongings together and Olivia is heard saying “what, so he can see them?” and Banner replies “yes”. They return to where Patient 4 is being restrained with Sarah Banner carrying what looks like disposable razors and a mirror or a clock. She then goes back to Patient 4’s room and returns downstairs again.

Karen McGhee says to Patient 4 “You’ve been doing this all day, I can’t believe I’m back down here and you’re on the floor”. Ryan Fuller is wearing Patient 4’s glasses, McGhee laughs. Ryan Fuller stares into Patient 4’s face, leaning over him and pushing his glasses up his nose.

McGhee tells Patient 4 something inaudible, followed by “you’re not having any more XXXX, it’s just not nice. Are you ready to get up and go to your room?” Ryan Fuller stands away from Patient 4 but continues to walk around wearing his glasses. Patient 4 sits on the floor, slumped forward with his head down.

Clip Twelve

Relates to Count 16. Filmed on 2 February 2019 and involves the defendants Ryan Fuller, John Sanderson and Patient 4. The clip was almost 3 minutes long. Mr Herrmann read the particulars for the charge which involved teasing Patient 4 about the medications he required.

The footage starts with two male care workers close to Olivia, chatting to her. Ryan Fuller says something to Patient 4 [can’t hear], second male care worker turns to Olivia Davies and smiles, then he walks over to Patient 4 and says something too, before returning to Olivia laughing.

This appears to take place in a corridor, there’s a sign on a door nearby saying ‘Dignity: please knock before entering’. There are 3 male care workers and Olivia Davies with Patient 4. It wasn’t possible to work out what they were saying, but there was lots of laughing and smirking amongst them.

Clip Thirteen

Relates to Count 17 and was filmed on 24 January 2019 and involves defendant Niall Mellor and Patient 4. The particulars of the charge was that Mellor did ill-treat the said Patient 4 by deliberately turning off his music intending to antagonise him. The clip was 3.5 minutes long.

It starts with Niall Mellor sitting next to a patient on a sofa. The man is using a laptop, headphones and a memory card. He is talking to someone off camera who is stood up. Someone else off camera is talking, distressed. Niall Mellor covers his mouth laughing.

Then Niall Mellor continues to talk to the other two staff members. It wasn’t possible for me to decipher the dialogue [but given the charge he was possibly telling his colleagues that he’d deliberately turned Patient 4’s music off to antagonise him, but that’s speculation, it’s impossible to know].

Clips Fourteen and Fifteen

Relate to Count 18 and was filmed on 25 January 2019. Involves defendant Niall Mellor and Patient 4. The charge was covered over two clips, of 3.5 minutes long. The charge was that Mellor ill-treated Patient 4 by making repeated references to pyjamas intending to antagonise him.

It was hard to orientate ourselves in this footage. I suspect that the filming was in the corridor outside Patient 4’s room, or it might have been a second room attached to the first. Two male staff members are drinking from yellow mugs, Niall Mellor is one of them. He sits down, then stands up again. They’re in a cream room with a bright white ceiling and there’s an empty cupboard up on the wall.

Staff are talking to each other and drinking. Niall Mellor goes over to a doorway and says “are you going to stick your pyjamas on?”. Patient 4 gets distressed.

Niall Mellor continues to talk to other staff members outside Patient 4’s room. Mellor then goes over to Patient 4 again to ask him if he is going to put his pyjamas on.

In the next clip Niall Mellor steps into Patient 4’s room and says something to him [can’t hear] and then another male member of staff enters the room.

Clip Sixteen

Relates to Count 22 and was filmed on 25 February 2019. John Sanderson is charged with ill-treating Patient 4, by causing him to become agitated by tampering with his personal items, threatening him with violence and goading him to fight with him. The clip was just under 4 minutes long.

Patient 4 is in a room outside his room, he is wearing a red jacket and trying to speak. Staff tell him to stop swearing. He responds. John Sanderson comes out of Patient 4’s room and comes up to another staff member and whispers in their ear.

Patient 4 says he’s moved something. John Sanderson stands in front of Patient 4, points his arm to the left and tells him to get into his room.

Patient 4 goes in and gets upset. Sanderson is laughing with another staff member and says he’s done nothing. He moves to the door of the room.

Patient 4 says he’s taken something. John Sanderson says he hasn’t. Olivia Davies continues a conversation with another staff member outside the room and we see in the background John Sanderson enter Patient 4’s room. We can hear Patient 4 speaking.

John Sanderson is then seen to back out of the room. Patient 4 is in the doorway. John Sanderson tucks his shirt into his trousers and says to the other staff let’s go downstairs.

Patient 4 says something [can’t hear] and Sanderson talks to the other staff member. Patient 4 shouts “you’re a bastard you are”.

As Olivia turns to leave the camera picks up another staff member, so there were four staff members in that corridor/room outside Patient 4’s room.

Clip Seventeen

Relates to Count 23, filmed on 29 January 2019. Involves the defendants Ryan Fuller, Darren Lawton and Patient 5. They’re charged will ill-treating Patient 5 by telling him to lie down on the ground, to demonstrate a restraint technique and simulating an assault. The clip lasted 4 minutes.

Footage starts with Ryan Fuller sitting on a chair in front of closed curtains, talking to Olivia. Second man comes into shot, he’s older and large with a beard. Can’t decipher the conversation.

One of the men says to a person unseen “1, 2, 3, 4… come on… 1, 2, 3, 4… that’s it”. Olivia then moves position and you can see a man, Patient 5, lying on the floor.

Hard to hear what said but Darren Lawton says to Patient 5 “are you waiting for Ryan to [can’t hear]”, Ryan Fuller stands up and pretends he’ll jump down onto the man who is lying on the floor. Patient 5 gets up immediately. Fuller grabs his jacket which was hanging on the door, couldn’t decipher dialogue.

Clip Eighteen

Relates to Counts 24, 25 and 26, filmed on 2 February 2019. Involves defendants Ryan Fuller, Darren Lawton and Patient 6. The charges relate to Ryan Fuller ill-treating Patient 6 by mocking his disability, calling him insulting names and encouraging him to fight with him (on at least two different dates) and Ryan Fuller and Darren Lawton mocking Patient 6 and simulating masturbation actions towards him. The clip was 27 minutes long.

The footage starts with Darren Lawton sat on a sofa next to Patient 6. They are drinking from yellow mugs. Patient 6 is an average built man in his late 30s. The prosecution told us in the opening that it was known that he did not like Ryan Fuller, but it was not known why. Patient 6 looked relaxed on the sofa next to Darren Lawton, but then he starts to fidget, moving his legs underneath him, then one over the side of the sofa, then sitting with them together. As Olivia moves we see Ryan Fuller leaning into the room in the doorway. Fuller is talking and pointing at Patient 6.

Darren Lawton says he’s tired. Patient 6 says something [can’t hear what] and they all laugh. Patient 6 is still on the sofa, but still fidgeting, moving his legs nervously. Ryan Fuller is now kneeling down in the doorway. Can’t hear the dialogue.

The only decoration in the room appears to be a large A2 poster of two flowers in a bowl. The sofa and chairs are burgundy and the carpet is burgundy, the walls are a dark cream/yellow colour and the ceiling is painted white. There is nothing homely about the decor of this room.

Dialogue continues [can’t decipher]. Patient 6 calls Ryan Fuller an arsehole and a prick. Fuller repeats it back to him. Ryan Fuller goes up to Patient 6 on the sofa and [I think] says kick me [the sound is really hard for me to decipher on this recording, possibly because the room is so echoey and I’m watching over video link]. When Patient 6 moves his leg, Fuller moves backwards. Darren Lawton is encouraging him. Ryan Fuller then pushes the door open fully and makes a gesture as though he’s kicking something on the floor.

Ryan Fuller picks up a tray, and gestures as though he’s going to throw it like a frisbee. Then he makes a gesture with his hand and a limp wrist. He stands in the doorway throwing the tray up in the air and catching it, while talking to Patient 6 [can’t decipher].

Ryan Fuller makes a fighting mime. Another staff member stands up, collects mugs and leaves the room. Fuller follows him. Once Ryan Fuller leaves, Patient 6 gets up, Darren Lawton has the sofa to himself and he’s lying on it, Olivia is talking to Patient 6.

Ryan Fuller comes back to the door, Darren Lawton gets up and takes something off Patient 6. Ryan Fuller throws a bag of crisps to Patient 6 and he eats them.

They then all move outside. Patient 6 is wearing a blue puffer jacket, a grey hat and a scarf. There’s snow on the ground. Ryan Fuller falls over, everyone laughs. Patient 6 gestures to Ryan Fuller. Ryan Fuller and Darren Lawton are together in shot, can’t decipher the dialogue.

Fuller throws a snowball at Patient 6, hitting him. Then Ryan Fuller and Darren Lawton are stood by the building, simulating masturbation in the direction of Patient 6. He stands looking at them, appearing perplexed. He then seems to get upset.

Ryan Fuller moves back inside the building, shutting the blinds on the window. Patient 6 and the other staff members stand around outside watching him. He then opens the blind again. Patient 6 says something and moves towards the building. Ryan Fuller is speaking to him through the window, Lawton approaches the window [cant hear dialogue].

This continues for the next few minutes, with Patient 6 approaching the window and Ryan Fuller closing it when he gets there. Darren Lawton turns around laughing. Patient 6 hides behind another staff member.

Patient 6 just looks lost a lot of the time. He walks away and Ryan Fuller shouts at him from inside, he gets increasingly distressed. This goes on for some time.

Then we cut to footage and they’re back inside, Ryan Fuller is outside with another staff member and another patient, then Ryan Fuller and Darren Lawton are stood in the doorway chatting. Patient 6 gets up and closes the door. Darren Lawton opens the door a little later, leaves it open again, Patient 6 gets up and closes it again.

Clip Eighteen

Relates to Count 27 and was filmed on 4 January 2019. Relates to Sabah Mahmood and Patient 7. Mahmood is charged with shouting aggressively at her, swearing and making derogatory comments about Patient 7. The clip lasts 6 minutes 17 seconds.

Footage opens with Patient 7 standing up, three members of staff are near her. She’s distressed and lies down on her bed. Staff restrain her to remove wire from her.

Mahmood says “getting wire in your hands isn’t doing you good… tell me what the matter is, you gonna talk?”. Patient 7 just lies on her bed and shouts “noooo”. Sabah Mahmood persists, telling Patient 7 to talk and asking her what the matter is. Patient 7 clearly says “I’m not talking to you”. The conversation then continues:

Mahmood: Do you want PRN or not?

Patient 7: I want everyone to leave me alone

Mahmood: That’s not going to happen. You want PRN or not?

Patient 7: All I’m fucking saying is…

Mahmood interrupts her: This is the last time i’ll ask you. Do you want PRN or not?

Patient 7: I don’t fucking know

Mahmood: Is that a yes or no? Are you alright?

Patient 7: [can’t decipher]

Mahmood: Do you want PRN?

Patient 7: [can’t decipher]

Mahmood: So do you want PRN, yes or no?

Patient 7: I dont know

Mahmood: Is that a yes or a no? I need a straight answer. Tell me yes or no.

Patient 7: I don’t fucking know.

Mahmood: Give me your straight answer. Give me a proper answer. Is that a yes or no xxxx. If I don’t get a proper answer I can’t go ask for it. Is it a yes or no?

Patient 7: I don’t fucking know.

Male staff member: xxxx what do you want us to do?

Mahmood: Do you want PRN or no?

Patient 7 screams: Yessss

Mahmood: So what’s the reason?

[can’t hear]

Patient 7 screams: You fucking dickheads

Mahmood: Tell us the actual reason, I want to know… if you want PRN that bad tell me

The conversation continues in a similar manner, the whole time Patient 7 is lying distressed on her bed and staff members are leaning over her and into her personal space. At some stage Mahmood is heard telling Patient 7 that her family are “fucking poison”.

HHJ Smith reminded the jury of the directions he’d given them at the start of the case, and wished them a restful weekend before dismissing them.

The trial will continue on Monday (13 March) with 45minutes more of video footage.

4 comments on “Whorlton Hall Prosecution – 10 March 2023”

Write a reply or comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *