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Reporter captured footage of abuse

Shocking footage recorded by an undercover journalist of care home workers abusing patients has been played to a court.

Staff at Winterbourne View private hospital, near Bristol, were caught forcibly pinning down frail and confused residents.

They were also slapped, soaked in water, trapped under chairs, taunted and had their hair pulled and eyes poked.

The hospital was exposed by the BBC Panorama programme, which broadcast in June last year shocking footage an undercover reporter had captured while working there.

Whistleblower Terry Bryan, a former nurse at the home, went to the BBC with his concerns after his complaints to Castlebeck and care watchdogs were ignored.

Journalist Joseph Carey recorded shocking footage during a five-week investigation in February and March last year.

A total of 11 former staff have between them admitted 38 charges of either neglect or ill-treatment of people with severe learning difficulties and returned to Bristol Crown Court for sentencing, which is expected to take most of the week.

Darlington-based Castlebeck Ltd, which owned the hospital, is accused by prosecutor Kerry Barker of ignoring the abuse because it was motivated by greed.

Castlebeck dismissed concerns raised by the patients or their relatives.

The court heard the 26-bed hospital opened in 2006 and by 2010 had a turnover of £3.7 million. The average weekly fee for a patient was £3,500.

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