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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 13:09 GMT 14:09 UK
'Talcum powder abuse' settlement
Lucy Neal
The compensation will be used to provide care for Mrs Neal
Solicitors of a pensioner who received a five-figure payout after care workers allegedly force fed her talcum powder have welcomed the settlement.

Lucy Neal, 89, had allegedly been given the powder by care workers at her home in Handsworth, Birmingham.

Nordia Noteman, Maxine Davidson and Rosemarie Malvo, who worked for the Welcome Care Agency, were cleared of assault in February 2004.

The pensioner's lawyers said the agency admitted negligence in a civil action.

The five-figure settlement would help Mrs Neal overcome a "harrowing" experience and raise awareness for other people in a similar situation, her legal team said.

'Terrible state'

The alleged incident, in April 2003, was recorded on a video camera set up by Mrs Neal's son, Joseph, after he became concerned for his mother who has a range of physical and cognitive disorders.

Although the three workers were found not guilty of common assault, the judge in the case said they had failed to provide the pensioner with an adequate standard of care.

Still from video shot by Mrs Neal's son
Workers were videoed allegedly force feeding Mrs Neal with talc

Following the court case the Welcome Care Agency, based in Winson Green, had its official registration refused and Birmingham social services cancelled its contract with them.

The agency subsequently closed down.

Mrs Neal's son then launched a civil case for compensation against the agency.

"She can't put in to words, she can't explain to us how it affected her," said Joseph Neal.

"She was in a terrible state, you tried to go near her she would flinch away from you, she was terrified."

Rankeshwar Batta, the solicitor for the family, said: "I'm pleased that ultimately a settlement has been achieved which will bring some form of closure for Mrs Neal and her family who have had a harrowing experience in 2003.

"Hopefully the compensation will go some way in improving Mrs Neal's quality of life as well as raising awareness for other people who might be in a similar situation."

Lawyers for the agency have not made any comment.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Secret filming from care home



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