Thirteen directors, managers and staff at two care homes have been convicted of imprisoning disabled adults in empty rooms to punish or control them, it can be reported.
An abusive culture developed in which vulnerable residents were left alone for hours on end with little food or water by managers and staff at the homes in Devon.
Last year, 24 defendants were prosecuted during four trials at Bristol Crown Court and proceedings concluded on Wednesday when the Crown offered no evidence against the final two accused.
It is thought to be the first time directors have been prosecuted alongside staff.
A total of 13 people were convicted of the “organised and systemic abuse” of disabled residents at the Veilstone care home in Bideford, and Gatooma, in Holsworthy, in 2010 and 2011.
They included co-director Jolyon Marshall, 42, his wife Rachel, 32, and several managers.
Paul Hewitt, 71, the founder of Atlas Project Team, was convicted of a health and safety offence.
During the trials, the directors and staff were accused of creating a culture whereby residents were left alone in empty rooms more than 1,000 times – with no heating, furniture, TV or toilet – for hours at a time.