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Ten staff cleared in John Daniel abuse case

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

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TEN staff suspended over allegations of abuse at Penzance's John Daniel Centre for vulnerable adults have been cleared by an internal investigation.

The carers have been suspended since November with centre operators Cornwall Council refusing to reveal the nature of the allegations.

Heamoor's John Daniel Centre cares for around 85 vulnerable adults with learning difficulties.

Cornwall Council drafted in staff from outside immediately the allegations came to light to continue that care.

Now the ten people cleared by the authority's own investigation will return to work.

Parents and carers of adults who use the centre were informed of the development earlier this month.

Five other staff have been the subject of a police investigation and remain on bail while that continues, say the authority.

A spokeswoman said: "The ten members of staff who were suspended by Cornwall Council last November following concerns raised over practices at the John Daniel Centre are returning to work following the conclusion of the management investigation carried out by the council.

"In all ten cases the investigator found insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations, and has recommended that no further disciplinary action be taken.

"The council's management team fully support and accept these recommendations. Five members of staff remain suspended at this stage. The police investigation is continuing, which we continue to support through the multi-agency safeguarding process."

For months following the suspensions Cornwall Council refused to confirm how many staff had been suspended and have never released any details about the allegations.

Initially Devon and Cornwall Police said no complaints had been made to them but in February they announced they had begun a criminal investigation. In April five people were arrested on suspicion of wilful neglect.

The five people on bail, a 21-year-old man from St Ives, a 58-year-old man from Penzance, a 22-year-old woman from Helston and a man and woman, both aged 57, from Hayle, answered bail in September.

They were all rebailed until December while detectives make further inquiries and a decision on possible charges.

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